Spreading the light of humanity & freedom
Editorial : CORPORATE CRIMINALS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL ILLS IN
is causing inflation, feeding the mafia , underworld. Some industrialists lobby ( bribe ) with the government & gets favourable laws enacted. This black money is the main source of funds for political parties , religious bodies & terrorist outfits.
The recent raids by C.B.I & KARNATAKA LOKAYUKTHA have proved how the tax officials have become multi-millionaires. The sad part is that some of the police officials who are on deputation to C.B.I & LOKAYUKTHA themselves are utterly corrupt.
This scourge can only be cured by corporate accountability intoto. However , all the industrialists , traders who are demanding for more flexible labour reforms , economic reforms , infrastructure , etc are not at all concerned about their own accountability with respect to tax , environment , other laws. The MNCs coming to
heat of strict environment laws , consumer laws , share holder disclosures , corporate accountability. Some of these MNCs are being kicked out of their countries , by it's own people .These MNCs are aware that in India , by greasing the palms environment laws , labour laws , tax laws , etc everything can be flouted , cases in courts can be dragged on for years . share holder disclosures , corporate transparency is minimum.
However when a concerned citizen complains about the crimes of guilty corporates , organizations or corrupt public servants , immediate action is not taken. The file is kept pending for months , years together , allowing the criminals to manipulate all the evidences , records , ground situations. Finally even if action is taken guilty will be let out due to favorable evidences , there are chances that the concerned citizen himself is falsely implicated & put behind bars . in all such cases all the involved parties must be subjected to lie detector tests .
Bottomline : development is a must , it must be all around . but not at the cost of majority to make a few richer.
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Writ of Mandamus to Chief Justice of
Failure of duties & questions not answered by public servants
Circle Inspector of Police , Vijayanagar Police Station ,
CROSS EXAM OF HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE OF
http://crosscji.blogspot.com/ , http://crossexamofchiefjustice.blogspot.com/
http://crimesofsupremecourt.wordpress.com/ , http://crosscji.wordpress.com/
CROSS EXAM OF UNION HOME SECRETARY , GOI ,
http://crosscji.blogspot.com/ , http://crossexamofchiefjustice.blogspot.com/
http://crimesofsupremecourt.wordpress.com/ , http://crosscji.wordpress.com/
CROSS EXAM OF DG&IG OF POLICE , GOK ,
http://crosscji.blogspot.com/ , http://crossexamofchiefjustice.blogspot.com/
http://crimesofsupremecourt.wordpress.com/ , http://crosscji.wordpress.com/
CROSS EXAM OF MUDA COMMISSIONER , MUDA ,
http://crimesofmuda.blogspot.com/ , http://manivannanmuda.blogspot.com/
CROSS EXAM OF BDA COMMISSIONER , BDA , BANGALORE , COMMISSIONER , BBMP , BANGALORE , DEPUTY COMMISSIONER , BANGALORE , CHAIRMAN , KIADB , BANGALORE –
http://crimesofbda.blogspot.com/ , http://bdacrimes.wordpress.com/ ,
CROSS EXAM OF GOVERNOR , RESERVE BANK OF
http://theftinrbi.blogspot.com/ , http://theftinrbi.rediffblogs.com/
CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY Scandals related to the appalling practices of multinational corporations like Union Carbide (now DOW), Enron, Coke, Cadbury, and
others may have shocked the nation and the world in the recent past, but the media rarely highlights corporate crimes that extend to murders, destroying habitats, threatening indigenous cultures, causing disease, contaminating the planet's food supply, poisoning
our groundwater and even destroying the very air we breathe.
You think this is an exaggeration? Well consider this. In Bhopal, India more than 8,000 people died in the first three days after 40 tonnes of lethal gas spilled out from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in December 1984. People woke in their homes to fits of coughing, their lungs filling with fluid. 520,000 people were exposed to poisonous gases. 150,000 victims are chronically ill, and even now one person dies every two days. Union Carbide merged with Dow Chemical Corporation two years ago and has ceased to exist as an entity while the present owners Dow refuse to accept any pending liabilities in Bhopal including clean-up of the abandoned site.
Monsanto, one of the world's largest pesticide companies, continues to sell its genetically engineered seeds to farmers around the world despite growing evidence of failure of crops like Bt cotton, that has reduced once well-to-do farmers in the developing world to penury and poverty while the threat of contamination of indigenous species by GE
seeds increases everyday.
Bayer AG, a German transnational continues to manufacture and sell phased out pesticides like Methyl Parathion (brand name Folidol/Metacid) in
Ship-owning companies (and indeed, their countries) like Bergesen (Norway), and Chandris (Greece) meanwhile, regularly violate international and national laws and dump their hazardous wastes at ship-breaking yards in India, Pakistan, China, Turkey and Bangladesh. The voluntary guidelines issued by International Marine Organisation
are not enough and it is imperative that these guidelines are made mandatory to make the ship-owners liable and responsible.
In the era of globalization, multinational companies increasingly move around assets, products and wastes on a global chessboard to maximize their profits and minimize their costs. These companies are using differences and loopholes in national environmental and health laws for example to export pesticides and destructive technologies to
poorer countries to the detriment of local communities. What international body oversees them, or sets rules for their behaviour, or holds them accountable when they transgress?
It is no longer just the conspiracy theorists who believe our world is increasingly ruled and ruined by large multinational corporations. The World Trade Organisation has supplanted environmental treaties and regulations. Corporations have become accountable only under the rules of a free market, free trade and a free for all on human rights and the environment.
The state of our environment has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated. The gap between the world's rich and poor has widened. Instead of providing developing countries with the tools for sustainable development, corporations have pushed their dirty
technologies and polluting industries on to some of the world's poorest countries.
A recent UN report revealed that Exxon, with $63 billion, is worth more than
In the past ten years, corporations have not only resisted
environmental challenges, they have lobbied to water down
international treaties and even succeeded in getting countries to
pull out of environmental agreements altogether. They have maintained
their unsustainable practices in all sectors. It is apparent that
more than just voluntary measures are needed to control these
A recent report by WWF states that if we continue at current levels
of consumption we will use up all of the Earth's resources within 50
years, and we will need two more planets to meet our resource needs.
We either take urgent action to save the planet, or we get off.
The UN Environmental Programme agrees that "the state of the planet
is getting worse." They say "there is a growing gap between the
efforts of business and industry to reduce their impact on the
environment and the worsening state of the planet."
At the root of our environmental problems are the unsustainable
practices of the corporations that shape our economies. But what is
the good of a short-term healthy economy if we can't drink the water,
eat the foods in the fields or breathe the air?
Current systems of governance in
be deficient against the activities of abusive multinational
corporations. To roll back the excessive powers of corporations and
to pressure governments to check corporate abuse and prosecute
corporate crimes, greater public participation is a must. The Rainbow
Warrior's Corporate Accountability Tour of
movement to change the climate of opinion against abusive
corporations and to turn the tide in favour of fundamental human
Corporations need to be held accountable for their actions that are
destroying the planet, destroying people's lives around the globe.
There is only one answer. We must stand up to the corporations. Our
governments must agree on international, legally binding rules for
corporate responsibility, accountability and liability: a set of
rules that business must follow, and governments must enforce.
The list of rules is long, but so are the crimes.
The world needs corporations to be held accountable to the following
laws – no matter where they operate in the world. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
is calling upon the Indian Government to endorse the Bhopal
Principles on Corporate Responsibility, which call on Multinational
• Accept liability for environmental damage and compensate victims of
• Accept liability for the damage, no matter when it happens, what
the cause or who in the corporation is responsible;
• Accept responsibility for damage and injury beyond national borders
including accidents in the oceans and atmosphere;
• Ensure that they do not infringe upon basic human rights;
• Disclose all information regarding releases into the environment to
• Protect human and social rights including the highest standards for
rights to health care and a clean environment;
• Avoid influence over governments, combat bribery and practice
• Allow states to maintain their sovereignty over their own food
• Implement a precautionary principle and take preventative action
before environmental damages or health effects are incurred; and
• Promote and practice clean and sustainable development
CORPORATE FRAUDS IN
Corporate fraud is nothing new to
The CORPORATE CRIMINALS & RICH CRIMINALS buy favourable government reports , records from the government officials commit bigger crimes , escapes from legal prosecution by proving their innocence , honesty with the aid of BOUGHT GOVERNMENT REPORTS & RECORDS. The courts of justice lacks broad vision , it has only narrow vision as a riding horse's vision is narrowed . courts of justice is only bothered about technicalities , evidences , records , it lacks the spirit of QUEST FOR TRUTH , it lacks truth finding mechanism out of massive reports , records , evidences. The rich criminals are in a position to manipulate , buy out evidences , government reports , so definitely they will escape from hook. Today , I can convincingly state that our legal system is such that , even the terrorists who attacked our TEMPLE OF DEMOCRACY - THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT will be let free , when they can fully buyout evidences , reports , etc.
In this backdrop , the corporates technically maintain clean public image although privately they are frauds , criminals. If anybody makes a statement of truth against them , those corporate criminals will slap defamatory & other criminal charges against such persons. The courts of justice upholds the claims of not the speaker of truth but the corporate criminals , on the basis of bought evidences , government reports. The courts doesn't go into the truthfulness of those reports , evidences & sends the speaker of truth to prison. If any person has made any complaints of fraud against Satyam Co , two months back he would have definitely faced criminal prosecution & jail term. As all the records , auditor reports , company secretary report , reports of ministry of company affairs , reports of tax departments , everything was in it's favour. The courts are only bothered about evidences , records which were all in satyam's favour , the courts are least bothered about quest for truth & justice. In this manner in
Just recently after Ramalinga raju's own statement , does it became public that the reports of auditor , company secretary , related governmet records are all false. Base linbe everything was bought. Do remember that whether it is SATYAM FRAUD , ENRON SCAM or XEROX SCAM , those were not found , revealed either by our investigating agencies or the government. Satyam's Fraud came to light due to pressure created by the recession , market forces on the company's promoter Mr.RAMALINGA RAJU & his resultant confession , Enron scam was unearthed by US investigators in USA during the corse of their investrigation , It is the same with XEROX Co . till those revealations , those companies were good , legally abiding cos in govt records. THAT MEANS THEY HAVE BOUGHT OUT INDIAN LEGAL SYSTEM EFFECTIVELY.
In this manner , in India most of the entrpreneurs small shop owners to big corporates buy out tax officials , labour department officials , pollution control board officials , etc & openly indulge in unfair , illegal trade practices , labour practices , legal violations , etc , still go unpunished , as as per book , the government records they are law abiding , persons , corporates.
Entrepreneurs , promoters of big corporations collect public money either through shares , debentures , bank loans or all . so ideally public are also stake holders in such companies . The criminal entrpreneures , promoters siphon-off companies resources in various ways like selling company assets to their sister cos at a lesser value or purchasing assets from sister cos at a higher value , giving loans to sister cos at low interest rate or taking loans from sister cos at higher interest rate , etc. in this way they siphon-off resources of public companies / enterprises with bank loans to their own family owned sister cos. We at e-voice of human rights of watch are ready to catch such corporate criminals & help the government , ofcourse subject to conditions , are you ready ?
The tax officials of central & state governments are hand in glove with these corporate criminals & traders. For a price, they are helping corporates & traders in evading tax. Most of the tax officials are wealthy & leading luxurious lifestyles , much beyond the scope of their legal income. The black money thus generated every year by tax evasion , is many times more than our total annual budget allocation. As a result, all our fiscal reforms fail & inflation is soaring. This black money is the source of illegal funding of political parties , terrorist outfits & underworld. It is a greater threat to national unity & integrity.
Both the central government & karnataka state government have failed to collect the full , actual tax dues from corporates & traders. As a result , the governments don't have enough money in their coffers even to provide basic needs like health care , education , safe drinking water , etc to the poor & needy. For every Rs.100 tax evaded , one poor patient is dying without medical care , 10 poor persons lack education , 100 persons don't get safe drinking water , 100 persons barely survive on a single piece meal per day , 20 persons starve. Most of The government officials , ministers & people's representatives who have deliberately failed in their duties of tax collection & welfare of poor citizens , SHAMELESSLY indulge in luxurious lifestyle at the expense of poor tax payer . they live in paltial bungalows , chauffer driven AC cars , all living food expenses paid by exchequer , dine at 5-star hotels , only drink bottled mineral water , eat non-vegetarian dishes , drink alcohol sitting before mahatma gandhi's photograph & preaching mahatma's ideals. Mahatma preached & practiced simple living , vegetarianism & he was teto teller , he paid for his expenses from his earnings . these public servants are parasites , who are making merry at the expense of tax payer.
Some non government organisations ( NGO) have formed trusts and under the aegis of those trusts are running educational institutions , hospitals , community halls , etc , in the name of providing free / subsidised services like education , health care , etc to the poor. It is only in record books , they conduct fake medical camps , self employment training camps . in practice they are running these educational institutions , hospitals & community halls as commercial enterprises & collecting huge fees. they are not even remitting full fees collected to the trust account & swindling the money. no outsider is allowed to become a member of these NGOs , only their cronies & their family members are in these trusts.
Numerous NGOs promoted by religious bodies , mutts are swindling public & government money to the tune of crores of rupees. Nobody dares to question the heads , pontiffs of these mutts , as at his feet VVIPs , ministers fall down. These religious bodies are hot beds of fundamentalism , terrorism & mafia. Hwere is the accountability of religious bodies & political parties in in
Inspite of bringing specific cases to the notice of authorities , they are mum ? hereby , E-VOICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH offers it's services ( subject to conditions ) to the governments of
We condemn the brutal massacre by police on farmers – who are going to loss all their lands , sources.of livelihood for the sake of special economic zones , industrial parks , etc in various states of
In every mega projects undertaken by government , both the state government & central government have functioned like REAL ESTATE / COMMISSION AGENTS for the rich & mighty . the government says it is acquiring lands for development of industries , for public good. In reality there is only good of rich & mighty.
For forming S.E.Zs , corporates gets speedy single window approvals from government , lands at concessional rates – lower than market value , soft loans from Indian banks , tax exemptions for years from the government , dedicated power supply , etc , from the government . these corporates are even given free hand to raise share capital in the Indian market. the government has enacted flexible labour laws specifically for S.E.Zs , they can hire & fire without bothering to pay gratuity , etc and they are exempted from providing P.F / E.S.I coverage to their employees ie they need not worry about the occupational health hazards of their employees , they can employ them till they are fit & throw them on streets afterwards. These corporates take our own money, employ our own people , use our own natural resources & finally take away the net profits to their home countries – what they give back ? – environmental pollution , tax evasions , low paid occupational hazardous jobs to locals , stock market scams .
During Previous License Regime foreign, investment was not directly welcome in
environment thrived, who were no way better than day light robberers, of course with a few exception. Under the political patronage, the cunning industrialists looted public money, cheated the government of tax, cheated lending banks & cheated the investors
too. They easily flouted labour laws & made labourers to work in inhuman conditions.
During 1990's under the international pressure
bringing the FMCG industries - salt, chips, ketch-up, colas, for which
They are not bringing in new production technologies in the areas like space research, nuclear energy, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals or pollution control, to
1. There is lack of comprehensive environmental norms.
2. The enforcement of environmental norms is lax.
3. The cost of health coverage, social security net to be provided to the workers exposed to the occupational hazards is less.
4. The cost of compensation to be paid to the persons-who died or suffered damages due to occupational hazards/environmental pollution is meager.
5. The enforcement of labour laws are lax.
6. Public money can be easily raised through lending Banks, primary market within
7. The tax can be evaded through various loopholes like transferring money to holding companies situated at
8. The tax can be evaded, company money can be cheated by lending money to sister / holding concerns at low interest rates or by selling shares, materials to their private companies at low rates or by buying shares, materials from their holding/sister concerns at exhorbitant rates, etc.
9. The corporate governance laws are almost absent in
10. Above all, the time can be bought by very slow Indian legal system, if any dispute arise.
11. On top of it, well trained, technically qualified people are available at low rates through contractors.
Just consider the following cases which highlight the apathy, irresponsibility of government of
2. The people living near the mines of R.E.M.P. in Kerala are suffering due to exposure to the radio active materials, Same is the case with the people of Jadaguda, Jharkhand, living near the U.C.I.L. plant. Both M/S R.E.M.P & M/s U.C.I.L are department of atomic energy enterprises.
3. Few years back, In
4. In 1984, U.S. based MNC union carbide mass murdered nearly 20,000 people, injured lakhs who are still suffering health problems. The polluted poisonous accident site i.e. Union carbide plant in
This is still further damaging the residents of
5. In the above union carbide disaster, the Government of
American lives. Just imagine if a same disaster occurred in
7. The medicines like nimesulide, paracetamol, etc. with hazardous side effects which are banned in U.S.A.& Europe, are easily marketed by the same U.S.& Europe based MNCs in India.
8. In India spurious drugs, medicines, food stuffs are easily marketed.
9. In India, the clinical trials of new medicines under research are done without proper compensation structure to those being tried upon ie. Virtual guinea pigs.
10. In India, the genetically engineered BT crops are being introduced without paying attention to formers, ecology or eco-system.
11. In India, during setting up of large projects, scant attention is paid to environment, eco-system & the displaced persons.
Most of the times, in government projects itself the displaced persons are cheated by the government in numerous ways.
12. In India, various Government as well as private hospitals dumps hospital wastes with deadly viruses in the open, with scant regard to public health.
13. In India, aged ships belonging to foreign countries are breaked down to scrap in ship breaking yards of Gujarath , Maharashtra & AP. Various toxins like the Asbestos, lead, etc & the hazardous, dirty water, Oil inside the ship are drained into Indian seashore. The labourers here are forced to work without any safety gears.
14. When specific cases of human rights violations were brought before the government & Judiciary by us , both of them didn't respond at all.
All the above cases highlight the fact that, government of India & Indian judiciary treats it's citizens lives as cheap, dispensable at will. This is the major attracting force for MNCs to
The impact of the Satyam scandal won't be confined to the 53,000 people on its payroll -- a number higher than the 40,000 Enron employees. The entire Information Technology industry will be singed by the swindle just when the global economic slowdown is already hurting it. The World Bank's ban on IT-India's No 3 Wipro [ Get Quote ], and Megasoft, besides Satyam, for unethical practices will further aggravate the industry's difficulties.
The Satyam swindle has tarnished the image of India's [ Images ] IT industry and cast a shadow over its remarkable 30 percent annual growth, which is generally attributed to virtuousness, brainpower and hard work, not inherited wealth. It has lowered the profile of Andhra Pradesh as a land of gutsy businessmen -- fondly paraded by successive chief ministers as 'Andhra-preneurs' -- who combine a robust native business genius with a modern extrovert outlook.
Above all, the scam has exposed huge cracks in
The Andhra Pradesh government has treated Mr Raju with kid gloves. It failed to arrest him for three days after he made a public confession, thus giving him time to sanitise/destroy incriminating evidence. His detention by the state police means that SEBI has been effectively barred from questioning him. This has bred speculation that Mr Raju has cut a political deal under which his family would be protected and certain officials rewarded. The Centre too is preparing to spend Rs 2,000 crores to rescue Satyam and public sector units haven't shifted their IT operations to other companies.
Mr Raju's January 7 confession and surrender to the police should fool no one. Contrary to his earlier claim that 'neither me, nor the managing director (his brother) took even one rupee/dollar from the company...', he now says he has been cooking Satyam's books for seven years.
He is estimated to have made Rs 2,065 crores (Rs 20.65 billion) by artificially jacking up the price of Satyam's shares and selling his holdings (14 percent of the total). Satyam's Chief Finance Officer Vadalamani Srinivas has said the fixed deposits shown in the books were fictitious.
We still don't know the scam's true dimensions. But two things are abundantly clear. First, it's extremely doubtful that Mr Raju inflated Satyam's income by Rs 5,000-plus crores (Rs 50 billion) and even put in Rs 1,230 crores (Rs 12.30 billion) of his own money. It simply doesn't stand to reason that he would do this and not siphon off large sums. Equally dubious is his claim that Satyam's operating margin was as low as 3 percent, compared to the 25 to 30 percent for top-ranking IT companies.
If Satyam's margin was indeed higher, then thousands of crores were spirited out of the company. It is imperative that this trail is rigorously traced. It would be surprising if it doesn't lead to real estate scams or to benami accounts held by politicians. Former Union revenue secretary E A
He looked at a private company which is building Gangavaram Port in Andhra and found that 18 percent of its equity is held by Lakeside Investments Ltd, a Mauritius-based company, 'apparently... a smokescreen for tax evasion.' Mr Raju reportedly owns a company with a similar name, Lakeview Investments, and with the same address.
Mr Sarma has also raised serious questions about the way the state has handed out thousands of acres without competitive bidding to Maytas (Satyam spelt backwards) Properties and Maytas Infrastructure. Maytas Infra alone has projects worth Rs 30,000 crores (Rs 300 billion) in Andhra, including the Rs 12,000-crore
Secondly, surrendering to the police in
If Mr Raju is tried for criminal breach of trust in
The Satyam swindle became possible because all supervisory mechanisms failed, including the statutory auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PwC, independent directors, and SEBI. PwC didn't verify the authenticity of the account-books. It had similarly failed with Global Trust Bank, which collapsed. Irregularities were noted in PwC's handling of Satyam accounts in 2001, but mysteriously, no probe was conducted.
Similarly, a complaint was filed with SEBI by Member of Parliament Ramdas Athavale in 2003. But under political pressure, this was not pursued.
PwC, which has audited Satyam's accounts since 1991, is guilty of grave misconduct and should have faced punitive action from the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India, ICAI. Ironically, PwC has two members in the ICAI disciplinary council!. The council met, but failed to take action against PwC. ICAI, like the Bar Council or Medical Association of India, shields, and rarely acts against, even the most errant of its members.
Satyam's independent directors did no better. They asked no questions about the accounts When the board met last month to approve the scandalous proposal to invest $1.6 billion in Maytas, it didn't even refer to the conflict of interest in buying a company in a completely unrelated business, floated by the promoter. It only went into technicalities of conformity with SEBI guidelines, and valuation of assets. Indeed, one of the independent directors, Krishna Palepu of the
These directors collect fat annual fees ranging from Rs 13 lakhs to Rs 92 lakhs (Rs 1.3 million to Rs 9.2 billion) just for attending a few meetings, but clearly lack independence. Many independent directors in
Even worse was SEBI's failure to investigate Satyam and refuse to approve its patently foul transactions including the Maytas deal, which was aborted by investor protests. SEBI also ignored a December 18 letter on Satyam sent by Mr Sarma. Other authorities also turned a blind eye to various complaints about the illegal allocation of 17,000 acres of land to Satyam group companies in different cities, in violation of their master plans.
Corrective action is overdue if corporations are not to cheat stakeholders and the public. Indian capitalism has always had a criminal side to it. Our corporate nabobs often milk their companies by appointing procurement and distribution agents, by under- and over-invoicing imports/exports, evading taxes, indulging in insider trading, and dressing up balance-sheets. Satyam fits this pattern, which is widely prevalent in most brick-and-mortar companies.
Some corrective steps are self-evident. Statutory auditors aren't enough. We need a Board of Audit, which like the Comptroller and Auditor General of
The government should create a pool of independent directors from amongst citizens of high integrity. Impartial authorities, not company managements, should appoint them and fix their remuneration. Cross-directorships must be banned. All agent appointments must be thoroughly scrutinised. Penalties must be stiffened. The conviction rate in corporate frauds, currently under 5 percent, must be improved.
Breach of trust and fraud must be heavily penalised. If an auditor fails in his duty in
We must learn from all this and acknowledge that deregulation promoted in the name of 'trusting' CEOs and creating a 'favourable investment climate' is dangerous.
Is the Satyam scandal just about a promoter manipulating the financial statements of his company to show a superior performance? Or is it about systematic siphoning of funds from the company over the years? Emerging events seem to increasingly point to the latter.
Let’s start with the so-called “confession statement” of Mr Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced chairman of the company. Lawyers have already expressed doubts over whether the statement can actually be deemed a confession and enough to implicate Mr Raju. Indeed, they say that it is a very well drafted document designed to draw attention to the hole in the finances without implicating himself anywhere for any act of commission.
A careful reading of the statement shows that there is indeed merit in this view. Mr Raju has pointed to cash balances not being the same as reported in the audited financial statements, he has said of how revenues were inflated, and so on. But nowhere has he said that he was responsible for this nor has he pointed his finger at anyone else. Of course, as the chairman, the buck stops with him but that is not the same as saying “I did it”.
If anything, he has tried to project himself as the saviour by pointing out how he “arranged” Rs 1,230 crore for the company and how neither he nor the managing director “took even one rupee/dollar from the company and have not benefited in financial terms on account of the inflated results”.
Mr Raju appears to have attempted to deflect attention from what is possibly the more serious crime of siphoning of funds to the relatively lesser one of accounting skulduggery. This is being clever by half. How on earth did he think that the shareholders, lenders, legal agencies and the world at large would believe him on this?
People who were and are working in responsible positions in Satyam say that the company has a real business going and some of its divisions are extremely profitable and there is no question of doubting the revenues from them. There is no way that operating margin will be as low as 3 per cent, they say, unless of course, if money had been sucked out of the company.
The second event that raises doubts is the carefully orchestrated arrest of Mr Raju. He surrendered himself to the police the night before he was to appear before the SEBI investigating team. The arrest and remand ensured that SEBI was unable to interrogate him.
The market regulator will eventually be able to quiz him, but the question is: Will there be evidence destroyed before that? As it is, there is the possibility that Mr Raju may have destroyed crucial evidence implicating him before he went public with his “confession”.
And then, there is the political angle to the scandal. Mr Raju and his companies (Maytas group) have been beneficiaries of large public contracts for transport systems and irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh. Nexus between businessmen and politicians is an accepted reality in this country. So is someone powerful attempting now to protect Mr Raju? Or is it that he knows too much about wheeling-dealings and hence needs to be kept away from investigators?
Allegations and counter-allegations have been flying thick and fast from both the ruling and Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh over favours, secured and shown, to Mr Raju by both. The government appointed board has a task on its hands. It will have to dig, and dig deep to unravel the scandal in all its dimensions. What is now out in public is probably just one dimension and it may be the least scandalous one. Mr Raju has himself said that the irregularities have been happening for years. Therefore, it is only correct to assume that more skeletons will come tumbling out once SEBI and the Company Law Board bury their noses into the books of Satyam.
There is the danger though that political pressure will be brought on to scuttle the investigations or obfuscate the findings. This is where the government-appointed board will assume importance. Not only will the government have to appoint people of integrity and high standing but these people will have to discharge their responsibility of getting to the bottom of this scandal without hesitation or fear.
ICAI to take stock
Finally, a word on the auditors, Price Waterhouse. The Central Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of
Interestingly, two members of the Central Council, Mr S. Gopalakrishnan and Mr Harinderjit Singh, are senior partners of Price Waterhouse. Mr Gopalakrishnan signed the 2006-07 balance sheet of Satyam. Will the two gentlemen sit in on the deliberations on Monday at the ICAI? Or will they opt out on grounds of conflict of interest? Or better still, will they resign from the Central Council, which is the policy-making and governing body of the ICAI? Is it too much to ask for the last?
Source / courtesy: The Hindu
10 reasons why we don’t need GM foods
With the cost of food recently skyrocketing – hitting not just shoppers but the poor and hungry in the developing world – genetically modified (GM) foods are once again being promoted as the way to feed the world. But this is little short of a confidence trick. Far from needing more GM foods, there are urgent reasons why we need to ban them altogether.
1. GM foods won’t solve the food crisisA 2008 World Bank report concluded that increased biofuel production is the major cause of the increase in food prices. GM giant Monsanto has been at the heart of the lobbying for biofuels (crops grown for fuel rather than food) — while profiting enormously from the resulting food crisis and using it as a PR opportunity to promote GM foods!
“The climate crisis was used to boost biofuels, helping to create the food crisis; and now the food crisis is being used to revive the fortunes of the GM industry.” — Daniel Howden,
“The cynic in me thinks that they’re just using the current food crisis and the fuel crisis as a springboard to push GM crops back on to the public agenda. I understand why they’re doing it, but the danger is that if they’re making these claims about GM crops solving the problem of drought or feeding the world, that’s bullshit.” – Prof Denis Murphy, head of biotechnology at the
2. GM crops do not increase yield potentialDespite the promises, GM has not increased the yield potential of any commercialised crops. In fact, studies show that the most widely grown GM crop, GM soya, has suffered reduced yields.
A report that analyzed nearly two decades worth of peer reviewed research on the yield of the primary GM food/feed crops, soybeans and corn (maize), reveals that despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase US crop yields. The author, former US EPA and US FDA biotech specialist Dr Gurian-Sherman, concludes that when it comes to yield, “Traditional breeding outperforms genetic engineering hands down.”
“Let’s be clear. As of this year , there are no commercialized GM crops that inherently increase yield. Similarly, there are no GM crops on the market that were engineered to resist drought, reduce fertilizer pollution or save soil. Not one.” – Dr Doug Gurian-Sherman
3. GM crops increase pesticide use
“The promise was that you could use less chemicals and produce a greater yield. But let me tell you none of this is true.” – Bill Christison, President of the
4. There are better ways to feed the worldA major UN/World Bank-sponsored report compiled by 400 scientists and endorsed by 58 countries concluded that GM crops have little to offer global agriculture and the challenges of poverty, hunger, and climate change, because better alternatives are available. In particular, the report championed “agroecological” farming as the sustainable way forward for developing countries.
5. Other farm technologies are more successfulIntegrated
“The quiet revolution is happening in gene mapping, helping us understand crops better. That is up and running and could have a far greater impact on agriculture [than GM].” – Prof John Snape, head of the department of crop genetics, John Innes Centre
6. GM foods have not been shown to be safe to eatGenetic modification is a crude and imprecise way of incorporating foreign genetic material (e.g. from viruses, bacteria) into crops, with unpredictable consequences. The resulting GM foods have undergone little rigorous and no long-term safety testing, but animal feeding tests have shown worrying health effects. Only one study has been published on the direct effects on humans of eating a GM food. It found unexpected effects on gut bacteria, but was never followed up.
It is claimed that Americans have eaten GM foods for years with no ill effects. But these foods are unlabeled in the
“We are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences.” — Dr Suzanne Wuerthele,
7. Stealth GMOs in animal feed — without consumers’ consentMeat, eggs and dairy products from animals raised on the millions of tons of GM feed imported into
8. GM crops are a long-term economic disaster for farmersA 2009 report showed that GM seed prices in
9. GM and non-GM cannot co-existGM contamination of conventional and organic food is increasing. An unapproved GM rice that was grown for only one year in field trials was found to have extensively contaminated the US rice supply and seed stocks. In Canada, the organic oilseed rape industry has been destroyed by contamination from GM rape. In Spain, a study found that GM maize “has caused a drastic reduction in organic cultivations of this grain and is making their coexistence practically impossible”.
The time has come to choose between a GM-based, or a non-GM-based, world food supply.
“If some people are allowed to choose to grow, sell and consume GM foods, soon nobody will be able to choose food, or a biosphere, free of GM. It’s a one way choice, like the introduction of rabbits or cane toads to
10. We can’t trust GM companiesThe big biotech firms pushing their GM foods have a terrible history of toxic contamination and public deception. GM is attractive to them because it gives them patents that allow monopoly control over the world’s food supply. They have taken to harassing and intimidating farmers for the “crime” of saving patented seed or “stealing” patented genes — even if those genes got into the farmer’s fields through accidental contamination by wind or insects.
“Farmers are being sued for having GMOs on their property that they did not buy, do not want, will not use and cannot sell.” –
In These Times
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