Tension time for many corrupt editors, journalists, and bureaucrats
More skeletons are expected to tumble from the cupboard of Deepak Talwar, the controversial lobbyist and the man who funded many editors and journalists in Delhi. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that it will file before April 1 the charge sheet against alleged lobbyist Deepak Talwar in money laundering case related to civil aviation and receiving funds through his Think Tank Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
It must be interesting to note the clout of Deepak Talwar in Delhi Media, which kept a criminal silence when he left the country. Nobody criticized the Government then and kept mum while outraging at the escape of other fugitives.
It is a known secret in media circle that Talwar had floated an NGO titled Advantage India and round tripped more than Rs.90 crores. At one stage, this NGO was managed by leading editors covering business news and one such person is currently a major partner in an anti-BJP website, who was also caught in the Niira Radia tapes for wheeler-dealing.
The clout of Deepak Talwar
The bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel was informed by ED’s special public prosecutor D P Singh that Talwar was arrested on January 30, and the 60-day statutory period is about to end. An accused is entitled to statutory bail if the investigating agency fails to file a charge sheet within the mandatory period. The question is why ED is delaying to file the charge sheet? Is anyone pulling back the agency to enable bail for Delhi’s most favoured lobbyist, who used to buy top editors and bureaucrats?
It must be interesting to note the clout of Deepak Talwar in Delhi Media, which kept a criminal silence when he left the country. Nobody criticized the Government then and kept mum while outraging at the escape of other fugitives. Talwar and Agusta chopper scamster Rajiv Saxena were deported from Dubai by the Government in a surprise move in January.
The court refused to entertain Talwar’s prayer challenging the Constitutional validity of various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), including the agency’s power to arrest and burden of proof. Central government’s standing counsel Amit Mahajan informed the court that the challenge to sections 19 (power to arrest) and 24 (burden of proof) of the PMLA is pending consideration before the apex court.
The bench also granted liberty to Talwar to file regular bail application before the trial court during the pendency of his petition in the high court and clarified that the trial court should decide the bail plea uninfluenced with the pending plea. ED said that Talwar, who was in judicial custody, acted as a middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines, causing loss to national carrier Air India.
ED earlier told a trial court that it needed to interrogate Talwar to get the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including the Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia. It is a known secret that Talwar, who started as a public relations agent of Coca Cola in the mid-80s, started rising after he clinched friendship with former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya and his luck got ignited during Praful Patel’s tenure in Civil Aviation.
ED said that entities directly or indirectly controlled by the deported accused Talwar received exorbitant amounts from the Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia and submitted a chart of total USD 60.54 million received by firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between April 23, 2008, and February 6, 2009. Talwar was handling the lobbying for Air Asia also.
 CBI files case against corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, NGO Advantage India – Nov 18, 2017, Pioneer
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