[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ttorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s lawyer son Samir Rohatgi appeared against Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) for a company called PACL, popularly known as Pearl Group involved in cheating of investors. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already conducted massive raids against the Chandigarh based Pearl Group (Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited – PACL) for money laundering of Rs.45,000 crores ($6.76 billion). CBI had already confiscated Rs. 5000 crores ($752 million) worth properties of the politically well connected company based in Punjab.
The Supreme Court (SC)’s February 2, 2016 proceedings show that Attorney General’s son Samir Rohatgi appeared for the company against SEBI, which wanted to protect the investors. As per the SC documents, Samir was assisting lawyer of top lawyers Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Singhvi and C A Sundaram. This shows that Attorney General’s son was closely involved in the legal affairs with the Pearl Group, which is facing CBI and SEBI probe for massive cheating of common man through Ponzi schemes and money laundering.
Is it ethical for an Attorney General’s son to involve in such cases? As Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi is bound to protect the interests of the SEBI, the CBI and common man in a massive cheating case involving Rs.45,000 crores ($6.76 billion). The legal strategies of CBI and SEBI must have the stamp of Attorney General in protecting the interest of common man in such sensitive cases. So is it fair for his son to appear as lawyer on the opposite side? Is son’s appearance for a scamster company a hindrance or embarrassment to the investigators of CBI and SEBI?
Did the notorious Pearl Group purposefully catch country’s top law officers son on their side, while CBI and SEBI were putting heat on them for massive cheating of public money? Will this move be an embarrassment to the Attorney General father, when his son appears on the opposite side in such a case involving public interest?
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ttorney General Rohatgi was a top corporate lawyer before he was appointed by the NDA government as Attorney General. He was an advocate of several corporates caught for corruption by CBI and ED during the UPA tenure. Rohatgi was a lawyer for 2G scamsters, Italian killer marines etc and after he became Attorney General, he could not represent the government on these cases. So the Government’s side ends up being represented by junior lawyers.
It is a million dollar question as to why the NDA Government appointed such a person as Attorney General, who is weighed down by the heavy baggage of having represented several accused by CBI and ED in the previous regime. Now, his son Samir Rohatgi appears against CBI and ED, that too in a sensitive case. Is this ethical?
To find some answers, we looked at the United States Judicial System, as to how they resolve such conflicts of interest. Here is a detailed explanation of how to handle Conflicts of interest, by the state of Rhode Island in the United States. There is a formal procedure that lays out how the concerned official has to detail such conflicts of interest and fill in a form with the Ethics Commission.
Below find the details of the Pearl Group case:
Only the first two pages are shown. The entire document can be viewed here.
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 66.52 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
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