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EditorialDiversionary tactics of all scammers

Diversionary tactics of all scammers


It is amusing how anyone accused of corruption develops faith in the judicial system. ‘Why don't you file a case and try him in court?,' is invariably the response of those suspected to have made illicit millions misusing power.

From P Chidambaram, whose son is said to have feasted on underhand deals while he was a big cog in the UPA Government, to Sonia Gandhi, who is now unabashedly defending son-in-law Robert Vadra, every corrupt politician takes shelter behind the judicial system. But make no mistake. When they seek a court trial for wrong-doing, they are not reposing any faith in the judicial system. No. On the contrary, every crook and his uncle who has got money or influence knows how to game the system.

Given the inherent flaws in the long-winded process of investigation, prosecution and the actual delivery of justice, the corrupt and the criminal invariably manage to game the entire system. As a result, neither investigation nor judicial trial holds any fear for the wrong-doers. It is only the petty crooks who end up in jail. Big-time thugs who steal public funds enjoy the luxury of innocence by default for want of an actual conviction.

Indeed, for every Laloo Yadav, who was actually convicted in one of the several corruption cases pertaining to the fodder scam and is out on bail, there are tens of thousands of politicians who have made tonnes of money but without being ever formally charged with corruption. Ordinary people are familiar with these politicians. For example, how a Sharad Pawar or a Chhagan Bhujwal or a Narayan Rane, first began his career and how after a few years in they now boast of enormous wealth is widely known.

In other words, we are not impressed when Sonia Gandhi tries to fob off the latest disclosures about the money-making racket of Vadra, daring the Modi Government to conduct an inquiry and file a case against him. This is the stock response of politicians caught with their hand in the public till. She has reason to feel confident, given that her family friend and the Bofors bribe-taker, the late Ottavio Quattorocchi, was helped to go scot free, and keep the loot, thanks to active collusion of successive Congress governments.

The best ally of a corrupt person is a corrupt system. The latest scam involving Vadra pertains to the purchase of a plush apartment in London through a notorious New Delhi-based dealer at a time when the UPA was in power. Email messages exchanged between the defence dealer and Vadra leave no doubt whatsoever about the unholy linkage. The income tax department chanced upon the tell-tale nexus between the son-in-law of the Congress boss and the wheeler-dealer during a raid at the latter's premises.

Though Vadra himself declined to react when approached by the media, his mother-in-law has sought to deflect the attention from the scandal by accusing the Modi Government of running a false campaign against him in order to damage the ‘credibility' of the Congress Party. Instead of rebutting the charges, such diversionary tactics by her and party-men does not in any way establish the innocence of Vadra.

Significantly, the statement put out by Vadra's lawyers is meant to further obfuscate the issue. It completely avoids answering the real questions. Instead of admitting or denying the veracity of the email exchanges between him and the defence dealer, it is stated that Vadra ‘does not own the said apartment' in London. But that is not what the charge is. It is that in 2010 he had used the services of the said defence dealer for getting the interiors of the apartment re-done. At a later stage, he sold the apartment at a huge premium.

Meanwhile, it is not true that the NDA government is targeting Vadra. His murky land deals were exposed long before the advent of the Modi Government in New Delhi. His nexus with a very big real estate developer, who sold him a five-star hotel in South Delhi at throwaway prices, the land deal in Gurgaon with the same developer, etc., were exposed when the UPA was still in power.

The truth is that there has been a huge metamorphosis in the fortunes of Vadra following his marriage to Priyanka Gandhi. From a small-time dealer in Moradabad-made brassware, he has blossomed overnight into a flourishing multi-activity magnate. Frankly, the trajectory of his business career is no different from that of a Pawar or a Bhujwal or a Rane. They are all the same, only difference being of opportunity and brazenness.


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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