Act Swiftly to Unravel Unholy Alliance

The New Indian Express Editorial ,Published: 12th January 2016

(Note: The 2-G Telecom Spectrum Scam and the involvement  of former Union Ministaers Dayanidhi Maram,  has been in the news far too long. Usually the assumption in politics is that big sharks of corruption easily break out of any legal net the  government is forced to put around them, often to fool 290250_235977559773812_6983603_othe public and to satisfy the legal dictum: “Let the law take its course.” Every one  knows the laws are made for the law makers, not for victim in any case. The 2-G scan is no exception. In the present case if it took this long it is due    to the “abuse of in-built processes in the legal system to slowdown or derail investigation” as pointed out by the editorial and nothing more. In this case, whoever be sharks, the prayer of the public is that they may be caught and not allowed to escape. james kottoor, editor)

Many politicians and corporate honchos got caught in the octopus-like tentacles of the 2-G Telecom Spectrum Scam. The government’s efforts to bring the culprits to book have often got stuck in legal quagmires. Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his media baron brother Kalanidhi Maran have tried every legal trick — from challenging the issue of summons to the jurisdiction of special court — in order to dodge or delay investigation and consequently the trial.

Now the Enforcement Director has managed to file a chargesheet in a special court accusing them and a couple of others of money laundering to the tune of `742. 58 crores. That it took such a long time for the case to reach this stage is a sad commentary of the use and abuse of in-built processes in the legal system to slowdown or derail investigation and trial and the potency of the financial and political clout of the accused persons.

The ED chargesheet against the brothers was the consequence of investigations into the 2G scam which pointed to some dubious transactions involving “illegal gratification”. The transaction was between Malaysia-based company Maxis and Dayanidhi Maran. The tainted proceeds received as illegal gratification, in turn, was allegedly laundered by the accused persons by showing it as “capital contribution” in two companies directly and indirectly owned and controlled by the brothers.

The government agencies need to prove the corruption charges in the 2G scam and the consequent money laundering charges as swiftly as possible. The cases are important in the context of the increasing interlinks between business and politics and its implications for corruption-free governance. Business barons can do politics and politicians business. But when illicit political and business interests converge, often it is at the cost of good governance. Invariably the business houses gain and the state exchequer loses and therefore this is a matter of larger public interest. The 2G scam cases provide an opportunity to unravel unholy alliance between the two and how in the event of transgressions the guilty can be legally punished.

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