The highlight last week must have been the courtroom drama that was enacted in New Delhi involving Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani regarding ADAG’s (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) involvement in the infamous 2G scam. However, more than the failing memory of Mr. Ambani, the very fact that one of India’s biggest industrialists was being summoned by the law of the land for his alleged involvement in one of the biggest scams in living memory made it an event in itself. He had avoided the waiting media deftly but the developments inside the court room would be remembered by everyone for as long as it takes for the dust to settle on this sordid affair.
Now, as everyone now knows Mr. Ambani was called in by the CBI since they had evidence that the nondescript firms Tiger Traders, Zebra Consultants and Parrot Consultants, which bid for the 2G license, were actually companies in which ADAG had an interest. However, the CBI had no tangible proof whether Anil Ambani was directly involved in establishing those companies and so far the investigative agency has only been able to make 3 arrests-all of them higher management people in the ADAG. The evidence was compelling and some of the documents in relation to those companies even contained his signatures but what baffled everyone was Ambani’s decision to play dumb all along and bluntly say that he had no recollections about the existence of those companies. Although, it was a mini victory for the CBI that the industrialist did not deny that the signatures were his.
Why it Made Sense?
Ambani is without doubt a clever man, who would be the last person to forget anything regarding certain companies that has been set up by his organisation but the card he played during his courtroom appearance was as simple as it was effective. Did the CBI expect him to confess to any involvement? If they did, then that is the biggest case of delusion that one can ever come across in the day and age in which we live in. However, their effort at collecting the sort of evidence has is commendable although the way in which they handled the evidence can be questioned. What Mr. Ambani did was the right thing all along since he was aware that the CBI no one had testified against him and the simplest way in which he could get out of the mess smelling like a rose was to deny any involvement altogether.
How the CBI Faltered
The most glaring error of the CBI is that they went along with the initial statements that they collected from Mr. Ambani and were confident that he would state the same in court. An investigative agency can never trust someone around whom they are trying to tighten their noose and that is where the CBI did in case of Mr. Ambani. However, that could have not had much of an influence if they had backed up their investigation with statements from the 3 ADAG employees that they had arrested. If they had those statements in place then Mr. Ambani’s sudden loss of memory would not have been able to make a dent in their case.
This is not over by any means and you can expect to hear a lot about it in the near future since one thing for which the CBI is famous is its tenacity.