The Swiss Flight

How the new agreement signed by Pranab Mukherjee with the Swiss government will not help bring back the illicit trillions that have fled the country

01 October 2010
An estimated 65 to 230 trillion rupees is stashed away in 73 tax havens around the world.
GAETAN BALLY / KEYSTONE / CORBIS
An estimated 65 to 230 trillion rupees is stashed away in 73 tax havens around the world.
GAETAN BALLY / KEYSTONE / CORBIS

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.

Vinod K. Jose is the Executive Editor of The Caravan.

Keywords: Manmohan Singh Congress New Delhi Gurgaon BJP Vinod Jose Swiss Bank Harshad Mehta Kulyadi Vasanth Pai Central Board of Direct Taxes Malabar Hill Mangalore Global Financial Integrity Pranab Mukherjee Micheline Calmy Lal Krishna Advani Madhavrao Scindia Balram Jakhar Rajiv Gandhi
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