There is light at the end of the tunnel! If the Supreme Court continues pursuing its present line of inquiry there is every chance that the Hasan Ali case will be cracked, illegal black money in foreign accounts will be unearthed, and the rich and the powerful will stand fully exposed before the Indian public. If that happens India’s Jasmine moment will have arrived.
On March 23rd (Make Hasan Ali Approver! Smash Source of All Corruption!) it was written in these columns: “The (Enforcement Directorate) 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.” This advice was based upon a well established and effective norm in investigation. When subjected to heat the small fry start squealing to expose the big fish.
Recall how the Watergate case was cracked. John Dean was the White House Counsel appointed to help cover up the Watergate crime. As exposures began he sensed that he would be made the scapegoat. Meanwhile Nixon fired Dean who had earlier asked Nixon for immunity from prosecution for any crimes he may have committed while serving in the White House. Nixon refused. Dean began to cooperate with the prosecution.
Dean testified before the Senate Watergate Committee. He implicated Nixon, former Attorney General John Michell and other big shots. He was the first official to accuse Nixon directly. Dean’s testimony had little legal impact, being his word against the President’s. Nixon denied Dean’s accusations. But then the secret White House tape recordings surfaced. That nailed Nixon and the rest to create history.
Last Monday the Supreme Court judges after reading the status report of the case submitted by the ED expressed shock at its contents. The judges pointedly asked: “Tell us why you are claiming privilege. Why not they (the names of people contained in the status report) be disclosed. Let the people of the country know what is happening. Now there is no privilege on one name. People have come to know everything.”
That is right. Disclosing Hasan Ali’s name has led to some information. Disclosing other names will lead to more information. The Supreme Court has sought the CD prepared by dismissed Deputy Police Commissioner Ashok Deshbhratar recording Hasan Ali’s interview. After viewing it the judges will doubtless get more enlightened. Further, if the judges direct ED to question Cabinet Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s Political Secretary Ahmed Patel why they met with Hasan Ali on March 15, 2008, they will most likely get even more enlightened. If the Judges continue with their relentless pressure the nation surely will get the whole truth.