Deepak Talwar, who is in the league of Delhi’s powerful lobbyists like Niira Radia, Tony Jesudasan, AN Sethuraman, V Balasubramaniam, Dilip Cherian and Suhel Seth is now caught by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Home Ministry’s complaint for diverting around Rs.90 crores by floating Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)s. Like most lobbyists, Deepak Talwar’s activities bloomed in the mid-90s primarily due to political uncertainties.
…the question is will CBI and other agencies go further to find the thousands of crores worth scams and looting in Civil Aviation industry during Praful Patel’s tenure?
According to veteran bureaucrats and Intelligence Bureau officials, Talwar, who started the public relations work of Coca-Cola type of beverages started booming after his association with Ranjan Bhattacharya, the controversial foster son-in-law of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
But the money goddess started smiling on Deepak Talwar when he became a trusted confidante of former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel. Most of the brand shops in airports were allotted during Patel’s tenure when privatization of airports started along with aircraft purchases.
CBI’s First Information Report (FIR) accuses Deepak Talwar and his associates and firms for floating an NGO called Advantage India and siphoned Rs.90 crores. This money was received from multinational defence and aviation firms such as MBDA and Airbus and Talwar diverted through his NGO in the garb of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Scheme. Union Home Ministry’s FCRA Division caught the irregularity and the Income Tax Department also started looking into this.
Like all lobbyists, it is a known secret that Deepak Talwar also has a huge army of journalists on his payroll apart from other ways to tackle media houses due to the support of big corporates. Talwar also runs a PR company called Integral PR.
It has been a while since CBI booked a lobbyist. In early 2000, the undivided Reliance lobbyists V. Balasubramaniam and A.N. Sethuraman were booked by CBI under Official Secrets Act and the case is still in the trial stage. While Balasubramaniam stayed with Mukesh Ambani, Sethuraman shifted to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group. Sethuraman and Tony Jesudasan, also working for Anil Ambani Group was caught in the midnight visitors log at the house of former (tainted) CBI Director Ranjit Sinha. Deepak Talwar was also on that midnight visitor’s list. Supreme Court’s probe team has found that all these dubious lobbyists were approaching Ranjit Sinha to dilute the ongoing CBI probes in 2G and Coal scams and other cases.
Though CBI is probing the Delhi Government’s controversial public relations exercise through Dilip Cherian, the case has not yet reached anywhere. Suhel Seth’s activities were exposed in the Niira Radia tapes. Though Supreme Court has ordered a probe in the Niira Radia tapes, the CBI is still dragging its feet.
Coming back to Deepak Talwar, the question is will CBI and other agencies go further to find the thousands of crores worth scams and looting in Civil Aviation industry during Praful Patel’s tenure? This is but the tip of the iceberg.
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