The UPA government continues to deceive the public regarding the Hasan Ali case. It distorts the truth by omitting vital facts. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is not the only one to specialize in misleading the public through half-truths. Speaking half-truths seems to be an epidemic inflicting the entire Congress party. The latest outburst of half-truths erupted from Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The Maharashtra State government has suspended the police officer who made the recording of Hasan Ali in which the latter named the politicians with whom he had consorted. Hasan Ali was in police custody in relation to a forged passport case. Deputy Police Commissioner Ashok Deshbhratar obtained permission from his superiors to interrogate Hasan Ali even regarding his foreign bank accounts that were much talked about then although no criminal case had been filed against him. The recording prepared after the interrogation found its way in the Maharashtra Assembly when an opposition MLA laid it on the table of the House. Although named by Ali, Home Minister RR Patil vehemently denied that he had ever met him.
After the recent suspension of Ashok Deshbhratar for allegedly receiving bribes and attempting blackmail, CM Chavan said that the CD was doctored. He reiterated that Home Minister Patil had never met Hasan Ali. Thereby he justified the suspension of Deshbhratar from service. But the CM failed to speak the whole truth. The CD was tested by the forensic laboratory at Chandigarh . Its report revealed that the audio-visual pieces of interrogation were not inter-linked but joined together in sequence to appear as if they were part of continuous interrogation. But the forensic report confirmed that there was no dubbing, and that Hasan Ali uttered all the narrative which had been strung together.
Former DPC Deshbhratar claimed that he did this in order to present cohesive material for investigative leads related to money laundering. That is not all. The CID investigation of the alleged meetings of Hasan Ali confirmed that although there was no record of any meeting with Home Minister Patil, Hasan Ali indeed had conferred with Sonia Gandhi’s Political Secretary Ahmed Patel and former Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh at the Juhu Centaur Hotel on March 15, 2008. So would one describe CM Prithviraj Chavan’s remarks as reflecting the truth?
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has confirmed that middle level politicians from Maharashtra, Andhra and Bihar had been named by Hasan Ali as his clients. Hasan Ali also confirmed to ED that his accounts in the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) had been utilized to make transfers of huge money. ED has announced intention for a further probe abroad including Hasan Ali’s links with international arms dealer Adnan Kashogi. It should be amply clear by now that Hasan Ali is merely the facilitator for money transfers of politicians and criminals as a Hawala operator. He has most likely revealed less important names to ED as a warning to the powers-that-be to back off before he exposes bigger names.
The ED should not waste time. It should first of all release the names of those already revealed by Hasan Ali. This should be done to activate the named politicians to expose their higher bosses. Secondly ED with consent of the Supreme Court should offer Hasan Ali full amnesty as an approver provided he reveals the entire truth. Hasan Ali is not the problem. He is the ugly symptom of the problem. The problem is the enormous corruption that cannot exist without connivance at the very top of the political establishment. To really fight corruption the top must be exposed. The fountain head of corruption must be smashed. India cannot wait. Its government is paralyzed when there is urgent need for it to act domestically and internationally. Time is running out. Switzerland that profits from criminal money stashed in secret bank accounts should not be relied upon for assistance. Induce Hasan Ali to become approver.