20 January, 2021

PV's Nemesis

Finally, a little-known non-resident Indian businessman brings the former prime minister to heel

PV's Nemesis

THE law has finally taken its course. And caught up with Pamulapurti Venkata Narasimha Rao. What the St Kitts forgery case couldn't do, what the Jain hawala scandal couldn't do and what Harshad Mehta's allegations couldn't do, a little-known non-resident Indian has managed to do: drag the former prime minister to the courts.

When London-based "Pickle King" Lakhubhai Pathak, 71, testified before the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) in Delhi on July 5 that godman Chandraswami had induced him to part with $100,000 after introducing him to Rao at a Manhattan hotel in 1983, to secure a contract to supply paper pulp and newsprint to State Trading Corporation, it was clear what was in store.

Four days later, when CMM Prem Kumar slapped charges of cheating and conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code on the Congress president, he left a nation stunned. "Be you ever so high, the law is above you," said the CMM. And, acting on an application filed by a lawyers' body, he summoned Rao, who had so far managed to steer clear...



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