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RamJet: Freezing Rs 500-1000 notes is ‘good news’ but not enough to tackle ‘monstrous’ black money crimes of the past

Jethmalani warns it will only catch small fries...

RamJet not entirely happy about NaMo's black money measure (image courtesy Jethmalani's blog)
RamJet not entirely happy about NaMo's black money measure (image courtesy Jethmalani's blog)

Senior counsel and parliamentarian Ram Jethmalani, who’s been waging a war with the governing party after falling out over the issue of black money, wrote in a blog post that the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is “some good news in the matter of black money recovery”, although it was primarily a “cover up operation” by the government.

Bemoaning the stalling, political lethargy in his Supreme Court black money case and special investigation team (SIT), which was tasked with looking into the return of black money stashed abroad, Jethmalani said that he was “almost sure that the real dacoits have now changed the character of the stolen wealth”, that “some small culprits would suffer but the major ones must be enjoying the joke”, and that “some money will be earned but I am almost sure that no substantial gain shall be made by this unfortunate India”.

His statements, in part, echo other commentators’ and economists’ fears that the move will disproportionately disadvantage those with less money and will be expensive.

Jethmalani wrote on his personal blog:

This morning news of a well advertised step to get at concealed black wealth is welcome but I don’t believe it will be a great success. I wish it does though even if honestly implemented it is not a substitute for the grand larceny perpetrated on this unfortunate nation between 2008 and today by the Manmohan and Modi Governments acting in concert and conspiracy.

The step is primarily designed as a cover up operation to conceal the unforgiveable crime committed by the Modi Government. I am sorry that the expression Modi government is almost wholly inaccurate. It is in truth and substance an Arun jaitley government. Modi is a roaming Minister of International Tourism and Contacts.

It is known to the whole of India that for the last decade that I have been fighting for repatriation of illicit money concealed in foreign banks and enterprises estimated by a respected BJP task force to be about 1500 billion U S Dollars equal to almost ninety lac crores in Indian Rupees . An employee of the famous Liechtenstein bank receiving from the German government a bribe of 475 million U S Dollars revealed a list of fourteen hundred criminals majority of whom were Indians. The German Government was willing to share this information with Indian Government and without any cost or condition.

Neither the Congress government nor the opposition BJP availed of this magnificent offer. Even though on receiving a satisfactory promise from the German authorities no leader of BJP was willing to help in getting at this money or information. My companions and I fought for two years an intensely contested PIL in the Supreme Court of India. We secured a judgement against the Manmohan Singh Government which declared that no effort had been made by the Government in power to take any effective steps for recovery and repatriation, of this enormous wealth. It then a Special Investigating Team (SIT) under the supervision of two retired judges of Supreme Court of India. In addition the court ordered disclosure to me of the relevant correspondence with Germans relating to recovery of the names of the criminals involved.

This judgement also did not produce any effective action on the part of BJP leaders Arun Jaitley in particular. He was obviously in conspiracy with the Congress ministers particularly Mr. Chidambaram to get at this stolen Indian asset. It produced no response even a mild statement that the alleged correspondence which Chidambaram had disclosed and Jaitley had inherited had nothing to do with the German offer and was in fact correspondence with a small German tax office dealing with the Amended Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty which concerned honest tax payers under legal compulsion of two governments to pay tax on the same income to both. In a report to the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the previous government had explained the blackening out of names of the senders and addresses in both the outgoing and incoming letters in response to an alleged International Practice, which does not exist. It is a puerile joke.

It was obvious to me that this was a further fraud on the people of India by both the previous government and its BJP successor.

Now it is an admitted fact that not a farthing out of the ninety lac crores was recovered by the two finance ministers acting in aid of each other to serve and protect the thieves of vast Indian wealth, which now is almost certainly an unavoidable permanent loss.

Some of the money may have returned to India under some camouflaged in false attire and earning even more money by trading operations in India.

Yes the present order to freeze all undeclared assets is a good one and may well bring some gain to India, but it is almost sure that the real dacoits have now changed the character of the stolen wealth and this new step widely as evidence of government honesty is just a foolish and dishonest claim. Yes some small culprits would suffer but the major ones must be enjoying the joke. Yes some money will be earned but I am almost sure that no substantial gain shall be made by this unfortunate India.

We shall not be persuaded to believe that this is any compensation for the mind-boggling loss of the money which we have deliberately not recovered an action which is treason against this unfortunate nation. The nation should insist that we shall not forgive that monstrous crime of some years ago.

Read the remainder of Jethmalani’s post here.

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