Vineet Narain was first crusader against India corruption and in this shocking presentation he shows how the politicians from across cross section, judiciary and bureaucrats are hands in glove in looting of India
Terrorism, Hawala and Corruption in India Historic crusade of journalist Vineet Narain (1993-2002)
Terrorism and Hawala funding After 9/11, the whole world has come to know that terrorist organisations world over are being funded through clandestine Hawala channels.
Exposed Hawala before…. Much before the worldmedia understood themeaning of Hawala,Indian journalist VineetNarain in 1993 hadexposed the Hawalachannels funding HizbulMujahideen in J&K alongwith the top politicalleadership of India. Dec. 3rd 1995
This was the biggest exposé since 115 top politicians from major political parties and senior bureaucrats were exposed having Hawala links with militants and were found to be indulging in corrupt practices. This included twelve Union Cabinet Ministers, Leader of opposition, Chief Ministers, Governors etc.
Efforts to suppress…. Narain‟s voice was collectively suppressed by the rulers of India and the mainstream media, pampered by them. Despite such resistance Narain succeed in getting them all charged for corruption in 1996 and earned global media attention. However, once again the rulers joined hands to ensure the burial of the now famous Hawala case of Vineet Narain.
International media later reported In any other country, it would have been a sensational expose. In India, it barely creates ripples. Mr. Narain, who works in television, claims that two of the listed politicians admitted to him on camera that they had received money. The Economist September 16, 1995
India, Pakistan and terrorism Indian govt. and BJP make noise on all international forums that Pakistan is fuelling terrorism in India. It also accuses US govt. for having soft corner for Pakistan. While the fact is that by suppressing the efforts of Vineet Narain in this case, the Indian govt. has proved its hypocrisy in dealing with terrorism and Hawala. Hence, it is interesting to know about this crusade which can be of great help in understanding the true nature of Indian govt., Hawala operations and cause of increasing militancy.
Fact sheet On 25th March 1991. Ashfaque Hussain Lone, the Dy. Chief of Intelligence of the Hizbul Mujahideen, was arrested from Jamaiat-e-Islam headquarters in old Delhi. Huge amount of cash meant for the terrorist group in Kashmir was recovered from him. Two days later, Shahabuddin Ghauri, a student of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi was also arrested in the same case. Clues gathered from these two accused led to the arrests of five Hawala dealers.
Fact sheet Moolchand Shah of Mumbai was among those arrested. He was later implicated in Mumbai bomb blast (1993) case as well. On the basis of information gathered from these five dealers, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids in at least 20 premises. This included the residential premises of Delhi based industrialist and international power broker S K Jain and his family members.
The search & seizures The search in different places, including the Jain premises, yielded huge amount of unaccounted cash in both Indian and foreign currency and thousands of pounds of gold bars. The infamous Jain diaries (clandestine account books) were also recovered from Jains house. In these diaries, there is a detailed record of payment of crores of rupees to 115 most powerful politicians including the Prime Minister, Union Cabinet Ministers, Leader of Opposition and senior bureaucrats of India.
CBI shields Hawala nexus of toppoliticians on May 3rd 1991 At this point suddenly the ongoing investigation was brought to a halt and immediately put in the cold storage. Instead of arresting the Jains and raiding the politicians connected with this network, shockingly enough, CBI omitted the names of the Jain Brothers from the chargesheets prepared against Lone and Ghauri, obviously, to shield the powerful politicians.
Narain exposes CBI in 1993 Then journalist Vineet Narain received photocopies of pages in the Jain notebooks from a source. It didn‟t take cryptographic genius to crack Jains code or to realise the importance of the story. He produced a report for his magazine format video cassette Kalchakra, but the programme was blocked by Indian Censors for nearly three months. It was finally released in November 1993. The problem was that Jains notebooks smeared members of most parties. “My battle”, Narain says, “was against everyone”. Time January 29, 1996
International media reported.. Narain, 39, produced a report in his monthly Hindi video newsmagazine Kalchakra (“wheel of time”). When he took the programme to government censors, they got panicky and banned the cassette he says. It was released nearly three months later, in November 1993. Asiaweek Feb 2 ,1996 Narain is hailed in same quarters today as India‟s answer to Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodword, the journalists who unraveled the Watergate Scandal. The Statesman April 13, 1996
Censor bans Kalchakra Shocked with this exposé India‟s ruling elite got this video cassette banned through the Film Censor Board. Narain appealed to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.
The Appellate Tribunal’s verdict “The story as it unfolds in the film is the result of investigative journalism.... ...The net result is that several politicians, ministers and bureaucrats have not emerged exactly like knights in shining white armor. To put it bluntly, they have come out rather poorly.... But, then, this is what investigative journalism is all about.....What may seemingly be uncomfortable is not merely swept away under the carpet by the expediency of censorship under the guise of “defamation” or by a „holier than thou‟ posture.” Justice B. Lentin Nov. 22nd 1993
Narain filed a PIL in the Supreme Court inSept. 1993 demanding thorough probe intoHawala ScamInitially the Chief Justice of IndiaJustice MN Venkatchelliah washesitant to take it up because of it‟spolitical fallout. He repeatedly forcedNarain to amend the petition to diluteits content. Finally he issued thenotice to CBI in Dec.1993. On 14 Jan94, CBI in it‟s reply accepted that theallegations made in the petition weretrue.
Finally Supreme Court of India issuednotice to CBI on Narain’s petition
International media later reported The Court case stemmed from a public interest petition filed last year by Mr. Vineet Narain, a leading journalist, asking the court to examine the CBI investigation into the affairs of Mr. Surendra Jain, a New Delhi businessman with extensive political contacts who is specialised in arranging power station contracts. Financial Times December 1, 1994
Why Venkatchelliah did so… After CBI‟s reply Justice Venkatchelliah should have taken up this case because of its serious implications for the security of the nation. He did not show the courage and kept repeatedly adjourning the matter. Surprisingly in the last week of his retirement he tried to take up the matter but Narain had sensed the game hence he alerted his counsel and got it postponed till his retirement.
After 10 monthsdelay the newChief Justice ofIndia gave aserious jolt toinvestigatingagencies andordered them toact speedily
Unlike in other scams, Indian media didn’t show the courage to take up a case of this magnitude.In fact in 1993-94 efforts were made tounder play it. There were no TV channelslike today to make noise. This madeNarain‟s job very difficult. The clips yousaw earlier are from foreign publicationsand are of 1995 onwards.
Unlike other scamswhere one or twoindividuals of a party areexposed and othersmake noise, in Hawalasenior politicians of all themajor political partieswere involved, hence, allof them tried to suppressthis expose and nopolitical party everdemanded probe in thiscase. Narain was a lonecrusader against theentire establishment
In 1995 & 1996Supreme Courtregularly monitoredthe functioning ofCBI, Directorate ofRevenue Intelligence,Income TaxDepartment and otherinvestigating agencies.Yet these agencies didnot do their jobseriously.
Finally in Jan. 1996dozens of UnionCabinet Ministers,Leader of Opposition,Chief Ministers,Governors and seniorbureaucrats werecharged in the JainHawala scam. Thishappened for the firsttime in Indian history
Major impact on Indian polityIndian Express 17 Jan 1996
Political fallout of Hawala Scam in 1996 All political leaders lost credibility in people‟s mind, hence, in the General Elections of the Indian Parliament, which were held within four months of Hawala chargesheets, no political party got majority. Dozens of them had to join hands to form the govt. which kept falling after short durations. Shattered by this jolt the political class, cutting across party lines, joined hands to subvert Hawala case and managed to control the Chief Justice of India J S Verma. Narain was keeping track of all the conspiracy being hatched.
Narain exposes the Chief Justice of India On 12th July 1997 Narain sent a detailed letter to CJI, JS Verma describing his unethical conduct in this case. This made him and his brother judge Justice S C Sen very jittery and they tried to pressurize Narain to withdraw the same, which he refused to do.
On July 14th 1997 avisibly nervous JusticeVerma shocked thenation by confessing inthe open court that heand Justice Sen werebeing influenced tohush up this case. Hedid so to avoid publicexpose of them byNarain.
Surprisingly JusticeVerma did not revealthe name of themystery man who hadinfluenced him andhis brother judge inthis case, nor did theypunish him for thecontempt of ApexCourt, why?
Based on hisinvestigation, Narainrevealed the name ofthe mystery man, whohad been hobnobbingwith Justice Verma. Acourage no one hadshown in free India.Yet the Judges didn’tdare to issue contemptnotices to him.
At this point thecourt and theGovt. tried towriggle out of thiscase by shiftingthe focus frominvestigation ofthe Hawala case tofuture safetymeasures.
The Courtrestructured theCentral VigilanceCommission andCBI in Hawala Case.It was projected as alandmark judgmentbut none questionedthe fate of theoriginal Hawala case.
Politicians got discharged By suppressing the facts and concealing evidence in the lower courts and Delhi High Court (a fact confessed by the Jt. Dir. CBI, B R Lal in a TV show), the accused politicians in Hawala case got themselves discharged and proclaimed this as their „moral victory‟.
Pledged to fight till the end Narain‟s efforts to highlight this lapses of CBI were ignored by the Court. „Discharged‟ politicians, said there are no evidence and this was a conspiracy against them. Media, without checking the available evidences, gave prominence only to their version. This gave a wrong message to the nation.
CVC a lame duck However the Central Vigilance Commission, as a byproduct of this case, proved to be a lame duck. Vineet Narain in a TV debate in „Big Fight‟ of Star News, anchored by Rajdeep Sardesai, cornered CVC, N Vittal, who announced on the show that he will re-open the Hawala case. This sent a shock wave amongst the political class, which was together in opposing Hawala investigation.
Tremendous noisewas made for weeksin the parliament tooppose such a moveof CVC.None asked thequestion why werethey so scared whenthey claim to beinnocent in the JainHawala Case?
Current controversies about Scams Is it not interesting that unlike Bofors, Tehelka, 2G Spectrum, where Parliament is rocked for weeks, no noise was ever made to demand honest probe of Jain Hawala case which had direct links with militancy in India? In subsequent years all other scams are repeatedly mentioned by the celebrity debaters on TV shows but none dares to mention Jain Hawala case.
Narain exposes the Supreme CourtJudiciary Despite such conspiracy by the entire establishment against him, the lone crusader Vineet Narain did not give up . Narain after exposing Justice J S Verma, demanded his prosecution, who by then had been made the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission by the NDA Govt. as a reward for his (dis) service to the nation.
Contempt case against Narain in theSupreme Court Shocked with this kind of bold journalism, the Supreme Court Bar Association demanded prosecution of Narain. Surprisingly in a jam packed court the three judge bench refused to prosecute Narain, claiming that they are like sun which does not get dirty by throwing dust upon it. The entire bar had a laugh at this because they knew that the bench was scared of hauling up Narain, who had announced that he will expose more sitting judges before going to jail in this case.
Adamant to expose higher judiciary’s immoralcharacter Narain further dared to expose thescams of next CJI, Dr. A S Anand in 2000-2001 He did so, only to prove this point that Hawala accused were not discharged because of lack of evidence but, because of corrupt higher Judiciary.
Lone battle against higher judiciary?• Supreme Court Bar, Parliamentand the media did not show thecourage to stand by Narain in hisfight against the sitting CJI DrAnand.•Narain was declared proclaimedoffender by the J&K High Court.Police harassed him. He had toremain underground for 18 monthsand finally on June 2nd June 2001he fled the country to protect his life.•He got tremendous support by themedia and human right groups inEurope and USA.
India: CPJ and Human Rights Watch protest editors contempt prosecution For details log on to: http://www.cpj.org/protests/01ltrs/India06jul01pl.html
Finally, the moral victory for Narain The next CJI confessed in an open seminar that; Twenty percent judges in the higher judiciary are corrupt. Corrupt judges in higher judiciary must be investigated and dismissed from service. Justice SP Bharucha Chief Justice of India Kovalam (Kerala) Dec. 2001
Excellence in Journalism Awardfor whom ? Journalists, students of journalism and the civil society will be surprised to know that for this exemplary courage in journalism no Award of Excellence has so far been given to Vineet Narain. This only proves how much system can gag a lone crusader. Yet he continues to work with high spirit and Vineet Narain as „Statue of Liberty‟ youthful energy. for Indian media: The Pioneer 8.4.2001
If this is how the Indian investigatingagencies, Parliament, Govt. and topjudiciary behaved in the high profile scamlike Jain Hawala Case then why mediarepeatedly makes noise about new scamseveryday ?
Can we really fight corruption andmilitancy in India if Indian Govt., Opp. parties and judiciary is not willing to act?
A question must be asked by all of us,how is it that despite increasing militancy, widespread Hawala operations, blatantcorruption and independent judiciary, no politician or bureaucrat has ever been convicted ?
Disillusioned with the criminal nexus of Executive, Judiciary and Legislature Narain went to his roots in Braj and got involved with water harvesting and revival of green cover in order to conserve the rich cultural and environmental heritage of this ancientland associated with the life and time of Lord Krishna. Here again he proved in no timethat history can be created with devotion and dedication.
For details you may log on to www.brajfoundation.org
‘Vineet Narain Case’ back in news The controversy about CVC P J Thomas‟s appointment, exposure of several scams where huge money is being transferred through Hawala and growing threat from militants, have brought back „Vineet Narain Case‟ in the limelight. However, most people who often refer this case in TV debates or print media, are unaware of the dangerous and prolonged lone crusade of Vineet Narain, from 1993 to 2002, on these issues which is heatedly debated now in 2011.
Interestingly the people behind India Against Corruption Movement never cared to involve such well-known crusader against corruption? Because Mr. Shanti Bhushan, Mr. Prashant Bhushan and Mr. Ram Jethmalani were mainly responsible for sabotaging the Hawala crusade.
Mr. Narain took these people on inseveral TV debates
Why Narain has not written a book so far ? An explosive book on this case was authored by Narain titled, „Hawala ke Deshdrohi‟ in Hindi (since he is a Hindi journalist) and was released in 1999 with much fanfare in the presence of thousands of political activists, who had gathered at the Constitution Club of NewJF Ribiero & Ex-Union HomeMinister Indrajit Gupta, release Delhi.Narain’s book
Book withdrawn from market Within one month two editions were sold-out like hot-cake. This led to renewed threat to the life of Vineet Narain, who had to go underground and the book distribution was completely stopped. Subsequently, even the negatives of the book were withdrawn from the publisher.
Activists, scholars, and media persons convinced Narain to reproduce his volcanic book on corruption. The same was silently released in Aug 2011. Readers feel that this book will surely benefit the people of India to fight against corruption.
First ever book on corruption of theChief Justice of India by Narain In Nov 2011 Vineet Narain released yet another book of his titled Misuse of the Contempt of Courts Act. This again is the testimony of Narain‟s daring journalism. Both these books are in Hindi and need to be translated in other vernacular languages and in English.
Need for international edition of Englishbook by Narain on his crusade Since 1999 many important bureaucrats and scholars from India, West Europe and America have asked Mr. Narain to produce the English edition of the book on his Hawala Crusade. He needs professional assistance to do this. Once published, this book should become the international best seller, because it is a hair raising fascinating story of the dogged persistence of an uncompromising journalist, who single-handedly fought against militancy, Hawala and political corruption, and gave an unprecedented jolt to corrupt Indian polity.
For more details you may log on to www.vineetnarain.netfor these Hindi books you may contact his close associate Mr. Rajneesh Kapur at C-6/28, Safdarjung Development Area New Delhi-110016 Tele; 011-26566800 & 26519080 firstname.lastname@example.org