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Updated: December 30, 2011 11:53 IST

Jethmalani riles Congress with black money charge

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CREATES A STORM: Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani makes a frontal attack on the black money issue during the debate on the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. TV Grab.
CREATES A STORM: Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani makes a frontal attack on the black money issue during the debate on the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. TV Grab.

Flamboyant lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party member Ram Jethmalani on Thursday repeatedly held up the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha with his pointed references to Indian accountholders of black money in Swiss banks.

Accusing the government of not having the courage to pursue the black money details, he said the people would throw it out. “Power corrupts but the prospect of losing power corrupts absolutely,” he said.

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Participating in the debate on the Lokpal Bill, Mr. Jethmalani referred to an article published in a European magazine in 1991 that contained “names, photographs and bank account numbers” of Indian Swiss accountholders. When he proceeded to reveal the names, he was shouted down by Congress members, led by Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan, who repeatedly asked the protesting members to take their seats, said it was “not correct to bring the name of prime minister” and wanted removal of the reference made by Mr. Jethmalani.

The House quietened down only after Mr. Khan intervened to expunge the reference.

Fresh commotion

However, within minutes, a fresh commotion broke out over another remark made by Mr. Jethmalani. He attacked the United Progressive Alliance government on the protocol signed with the Swiss government on double taxation avoidance treaty.

The Chair expunged the remark.

When order was restored, Mr. Jethmalani said the protocol was designed to seek only future information and not information about the past.

Mr. Aiyar objected to the comment, saying it had no relevance to the discussion on the Lokpal Bill.

Mr. Jethmalani said the Central Bureau of Investigation had begun with an impeccable reputation, which was tarnished over the years.

Making out a case for a strong and independent CBI, he said the superintendence of the agency must be transferred from the Central government to the Lokpal.

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I think,the lawyers can help in removing the corruption because they only know that the accused whom they defending is. culprit or not . Therefore I request the persons like Jethmalani should not plead in the court for those guilty persons . But I know that Jethmalani,Singhivi.Prashant Bhushan ,and others will not do so.In the name of profession they will always do, specially Jehmalani is famous for defending such types of persons,.

from:  Krishna Nand Pandey
Posted on: Jan 1, 2012 at 17:13 IST

I am congratulating The Hindu editor for publishing this article. I thank Jethmalani for exposing the Congress..

from:  KMR Overseas
Posted on: Dec 31, 2011 at 03:24 IST

Wonder why the first report of the hindu on this issue described Jethmalani as "noted" lawyer and later it was changed to "flamboyant". For all the good work that the hindu does giving editorial colour to what should have been a straightforward report by giving partisan adjectives to someone who raised a really shocking instance of the kind of cover ups this congress government is involved in, not just nationally but even by entering into bilateral treaties with other countries, is really sad. There is still a lot of scope for the hindu to be bipartisan and avoid editorialising what should have been a straightforward report.

from:  Agnihotri
Posted on: Dec 31, 2011 at 02:13 IST

after such a long time i have seen some good speeches in indian
parliament .Kudos to Ram jethmalani for bringing out facts related to
corruption cases into limelight

from:  vivek
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 22:56 IST

Mr.Jethmalani did not disclose the names not because Mani Shankar Iyer shouted, but because he did not have any names or proof to support his words.He is an eminent lawyer and everyone knows that lawyers have no qualms to tell lies even in courts and support it with false evidence.Instead of talking about the merits/demerits of the bill,Mr. Jethmalani chose to create a ruckus in parliament, all in tune with the pre-conceived plan of the BJP. The BJP should be given full credit for not passing the anti-corruption bill on 29th December.However, the bill is under the care and custody of the house which can be taken up in the next session for further discussion and voting.The BJP`s sole aim is to demolish the UPA government which has won the elections in two consecutive terms,trouncing the BJP combine.Anna Team may be the last resort for
BJP,because the Rath yathra did not evince the desired public support.

from:  Raju Varghese
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 21:53 IST

The Hindu must continue to support and strengthen Annaji's movement
'India against corruption' by giving moral support .. It should gain
strength and become a mass movement to takeon the corrupt rulers ..
That will be yeomen service to the people of this great country ..

from:  Conjivaram Rajan Gopalkrishnan
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 17:30 IST

I must congratulate THE HINDU because yours is perhaps the only newspaper that put out this news item on the front page about what the honorable Member of Parliament Ram Jethmalani said last night on the floor of Rajya Sabha on block money and Indians holding account in Swiss banks. But the moment he wanted to reveal the names of people holding accounts including a prime minister of India, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer and other congress members shouted and prevented him from revealing the names. Mr Aiyer's ugly face is really revealed by this incident. Why is he so much nervous about revealing names and who is he trying to protect ? It is really a shame on Mr Aiyer who pontificates lofty ideals about governance, corruption and everything under the sun every night on TV channels. It is unfortunate for our country that we have such people as our representatives in the Parliament. By the way, it is also revealing that other printed media did not publish this incident !

from:  J Gopalakrishnan
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 12:35 IST

If Mr. Jethmalani has the copy of European magazine which published names, photographs and bank account numbers of Indians in Swiss bank, he will do a great service to the nation by revealing it openly.

from:  TSR
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 12:04 IST

Time changed, economy changed, inflation changed, civilization changed but there would NEVER EVER be a change in our politicians. India is crying looking at our elected politicians. Such a shame to our country. Lok sabha became fight sabha. It is hard for any group of people (like Anna hazare) to fight against corruption. As kumar said above no news channel is fighting for a cause. Looks like every news channel is backed up by one political party. Can't actually blame any one as we are living in a most violent corrupted system. When every citizen of India works independent of political parties and ban vote /cast vote when bad/good guy nominated in election. I don't see anybody can save our country. Unfortunately even educated people hung
up with one political party however crap they are.

from:  Praveen Kumar
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 11:09 IST

Lets wait for Mr Assange to disclose the swiss bank holders name in 2012. Its official, they'll be publishing it in 2012. As Jethmalani, pointed it out, the one good thing that this Anna movement has done is that it has brought this (safely)buried issue of black money into the consicience of the people.
Common man atleast now talks about it. This disclosure would be the final nail to the coffin. On the side note, Swamy's pursuits of Chidambaram and Robert might just be the other news to follow in 2012.

from:  Kushagra
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 11:07 IST

Although I didn't have any hope of Lokpal bill being passed so easily(only 1 yr of Anna's movement) if it has not been passed for 42 yrs, but this discussion in parliament has certainly raised very vital question on Indian politics.Does referring a name of previous PM(based on correct data) in stashing black money is wrong? . Should we give more importance to what a person does or what position he holds and to what family does he belong?. We all know the answers within ourselves, but I am very happy somebody has put this on table before our honorary parliamentarians. however, now is the time of action..because just putting the questions in parliament is not going to bring back that money back to country. Neither pleading our MPs to make strong laws or bring black money back to country(because in either case it is their loss. As a intelligent species I would never bring a law by myself to confiscate my money and decrease my power). We have to go to elections and participate in it.

from:  Dilip
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 10:54 IST

"THE HINDU"- Keeping hope alive for free journalism. I always wonder
why these issue are not raised by any news channel. Only print media
is doing their job in this country.Not a single news channel raised
this issue last night when rajya sabha was going on. No one want to
tell that why congress is so protective about this issue. Why
congress member so exasperated with black money issue ? Each time
anyone raises question about account holders in foreign banks they
want to silence them whether it is Ramjethmalani or Ramdev. Even
government raised question against SIT team, made by supreme court to
supervise and control issue related black money. When supreme made
team of SIT then government protested against it by saying what is the
purpose of another team when we already have one. Then supreme court
replied that we don't relay on your team anymore.

from:  Govind Singh
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 09:47 IST

Why do we enjoy writing and reading these political headlines " slams, tears into, blasts and so the end of the day, there is no action or reaction. Just tamasha value...No results, no performance, no tangibles, no benefit for anyone...Just verbal dramatics, noise and more noise. Instead critically ask the politicians what work they are doing for which they are elected to do.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 09:03 IST

Politicians all behave the same.BJP just played its role of hurdles on the way,raising the issue of black money when the house was busy with Lokpal shows their true colours and intentions.They already stand exposed in the Lokpal issue, raising the blackmoney issue now at this juncture exposes their commitment towards blackmoney too. Its surprising, how shameless this creatures called Politicians can be.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 07:25 IST

Is Mr. Jethmalani saying, " Do as I say, do not do as I do " ? He is the lawyer for one of the accused who has had a big position in UPA government. Of course he might say that an accused is not necessarily guilty and that every accused person has a right for legal counsel. If that be the case he cannot and should not point his fingers at any others who have not even been formally accused. One of the accused he has been defending claims that the accused got crores and crores of Rupees as a Loan. Is there a promissory note or any other deed to that effect ? There is a Tamil saying to the effect, " One is trying to hide a full pumpkin with cooked rice ". I am not enamoured of the said accused or the rest of the UPA members. However come on Mr. Jethmalani, let there be some consistency.

from:  T.S.Krishnaswamy
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 03:56 IST

Good work Mr.Jethmalini. Why should the names of the people who have raped the country should be privileged informatiom? Could you please publish them along with their photographs? This could be of invaluable assistance to the investigating agencies and to the Government. The present Government could be hamstrung by the fact that the list could contain persons who are part of the ruling coalition or its sympathizers. By publishing the names you will free the Governemnt of the 'sympathizer obligation'. Above all, it is your duty as a citizen first and a parliamnetarian next that you place the facts you know in front of the people. We could not expect the same from the present Government.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Dec 30, 2011 at 03:46 IST
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