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Monday, January 12, 2009

Satyam Fraud, Mumbai Attacks - The Common Factor

Satyam Fraud, Mumbai Attacks! It may surprise some, using the two incidents in the same line or the same breath. Fact is, irrespective of how different the two incidents might be, they have affected many people across the board. So what is the common factor that the two have?

Complicity and/or connivance of Government agencies including Politicians, bureaucrats, bankers, regulatory agencies, enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and whatever else one can think of. Essentially, both were classic example of failure of Governance, one political and the other corporate.

After both the incidents happened everyone feigned ignorance and indulged in shameless blame game. It happened in the case of Mumbai Attacks and is happening right now in the case of Satyam. If Mumbai attacks were not a lesson in importance of coordination and joint efforts, the State and the central governemnt are hell bent on stealing the thunder and making any kind of investigation impossible. First the state Police refused to arrest Raju for lack of a complaint against him. The time afforded to Raju was sufficient for him to destroy or get rid of important evidentiary documents, much in the same manner Pakistan allowed JuD and LeT to transfer their funds before seizing and freezing their bank accounts. Then, a day before the day SEBI team was to interrogate Raju, the Satyam head honcho, the Andhra Government apprehended Raju making it impossible for SEBI team to do their work.

The State Police has openly admitted that they do not have the resources to investigate this kind of a fraud, then why is the state not allowing the central authorities like SEBI, Registrar of companies etc to investigate. The Chief Minister is willing to hand over the case to CBI, an agency known to be dragging its feet on the simplest of the cases. It is a clear cut case of someone trying to shield Raju.

In a classic case again of trying to control damage or brush things under the carpet, Raju put another member of his flock, Ram Mynampati as an interim CEO, a man who it appears got Rs 3.5 crores in salary in 2008. Obviously Mynampati must have been in the thick of things. Now the Centre has stepped in and appointed "their own" men Deepak Parekh, HDFC chairman known to be working with the governmnet in various Policy matters, Kiran Karnik, a Director in another one of Satyam's subsidiary and C Achutan who handled the Ketan Parekh scam, obviously after it came to light. The three of them are obviously going to do what hurts the Government the least and maybe also ensure that no governmnet complicity ever surfaces during the investigations.

After the Mumbai attacks, the citizens came out in hoards to voice their protest about the failure of the Government and the bureaucracy. Why are the citizens not making any noise now? Or are they waiting for the TV channels to cover the event live before they wake up and start shouting 'Enough is Enough' again?

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