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Scrutiny
 
INDIA: POWER EQUATIONS
Power above law?
Bails given out in the 2G spectrum retell the sordid saga of how the rich & the elite control power in India
Issue Date - 22/12/2011
 
As estimated by the CAG report, the second Generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, the biggest recorded swindle ever in India, has cost the exchequer a mind boggling Rs.1.76 trillion. It revealed the ugly face of corruption in India bang in front of media and public glare. Interestingly, the recent turn of events on the legal front has further highlighted the main reason why this scourge in our society can only get worse.

The CBI had accused fourteen people in the scam but twelve of them have already been granted bail under certain conditions within a short span of time. Only former telecom minister A. Raja and former telecom secretary Sidharth Behura are still in prison pending trial. DMK chief Karunanidhi has shamelessly announced that the party will be looking forward to welcome his daughter Kanimozhi with a new position. Even R. K. Chandolia, former private secretary of A. Raja, was released from jail one day prior to the High Court bail order. These court decisions have led many to make the hopeless conclusion that punitive action towards corrupt politicians and bureaucrats & unethical corporates is really hard to come by in India.

A study by the Asian Development Bank concluded that the wealth of 50 Indian billionaires equals 20% of the country’s GDP. The doyens of Indian industry often come under scrutiny for their connections in the bureaucracy and the government and how they use them to their advantage. There is a logical fear that there could be tampering of evidence/influencing of witnesses by the accused, especially now that they are out of prison. The question on whether India truly belongs to a few powerful people in the government and industry; who are more or less above the law, has been raised time and again. One hopes that the 2G case will have a different direction.

 

Amir Hossein           

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