NDTV has been under probe by one or the other agencies for the last 12 or so years. An FIR was filed as early as 1997 -98 against Dr Roy and others on charges of embezzlement of public funds, Prevention of Corruption Act etc. Nobody knows what exactly happened to it. Somebody did file an RTI and received very vague replies. Ever since NDTV has been on a roll. For a loss making company they were far too generously showered with funds and as some business publications have often opined – NDTV continued to find mysterious investors.
There are numerous issues which are very serious in nature and damning and easy to probe and prove in court. There is that issue of 150 million dollars which NDTV received from apparently nobody – tax evasion, bribery, Money laundering, harassing government servants, Mukesh Ambani’s dubious 429 crores which quietly turn into 50 crores. ED investigations etc. I mean it’s bizarre that one business house could be involved in so many misdoings, could be so messy. And yet survive.
But NDTV is a business house like no other, it is media house like no other- they know how to harness the politicians, babus, big ticket lawyers and anyone else who comes looking. They have done everything that a media house shouldn’t be doing and yet they survived and doing well for themselves. And have nurtured a dedicated constituency of ultra liberals which views morality or law as subservient to ideology.
But that’s another story.
The big story today is that CBI decided to file charges on rather minor issue of wrongful settlement of dues with a private bank. That’s a very weak charge. Weak, considering CBI has PE ( preliminary enquiry) reports on far more serious charges. CBI and other agencies have investigations on charges that invite PMLA, other charges that invite criminal liability. And these aren’t new. Almost all of the charges were initiated by investigating agencies during previous govt. And obviously weren’t given a go-ahead. One would have thought the game would end for them once a new govt came, but they have survived many such changes. They perhaps know what Subroto Roy with his financial genius did not. Or are they too embedded in the system that thrives on corruption, networking and favouritism, a system so corrupt that it outdoes governments, ideologies and politics.
Well, we witnessed yesterday a striker hitting the bars on a vacant goal post. Indeed, strange things happen in sports and politics.
NDTV gets to cry foul, and perhaps pre-empt something really serious and govt gets to make their fan boys happy. And will they now live happily ever after?
But there is a problem. 88 page FIR has all issues mentioned in one way or the other. So investigations may just traverse any path.
If you have a deep and perhaps naive faith in natural justice and if you believe it finds ways to express, reveal and prevail eventually, then stay tuned . A game is bigger than a striker and a mishit and this game has just begun. And like most games it sure has exciting twists and turns.