Whistle-blowers need to interact and share: Moneylife
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If the whistle-blowers want action, they have to interact and share:
By Sucheta Dalal
“Soon after the first exposé, I wrote another report, which put the size of the scam at Rs5,000 crore (a stupendous figure in those pre-liberalisation days) that included UTI units, fake banking receipts (BRs), deals, portfolio management schemes (with PSUs), bill discounting, etc. On the day the report was published, the then Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, S Venkitaramanan, called a press conference to deny the report. Such denials by RBI are unheard of even today; in 1992, it was an extraordinary event. I thought it was the end of my career. On checking with DT (since my information had indirectly come from the central bank itself), we gathered that the RBI governor, indeed, had no concrete basis to deny my report.
He had probably been asked by the government to issue a denial, in order to soothe worried foreign creditors and others. Armed with this knowledge, a few of us (including a couple of friendly journalists in other papers) grilled the governor, until it was fairly clear that the denial was baseless and my report was accurate. Of course, he got the media headlines that he wanted the next day. Ironically, other publications soon began to report that the scam was three or four times the figure I had quoted. The income-tax (I-T) department also made vastly exaggerated claims of tax dues from all the scam accused—their actions have ensured that trials in the special court, and even some sessions court cases, have not ended after 25 years."