ONE MORNING IN THE WINTER OF 1994, Finance Minister Manmohan Singh was tipped that there was pressure on the investigating officer in Mumbai to let Harshad Mehta go free in the 330 billion-rupee banking and securities scam—until then the largest swindle in Indian history.
The investigating officer, Kulyadi Vasanth Pai, Commissioner of Income Tax Mumbai, had a reputation as an upright, uncorrupt officer. But as the scam got bigger, the pressure on Pai increased.
Pai called TS Srinivasan, Member (Investigations) at the Central Board of Direct Taxes in Delhi, who told Manmohan Singh that Pai was under tremendous pressure and needed assurances that the government wanted a free and fair investigation.
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