The Intelligence Bureau has taken a serious note of the report in the FPJ about the controversy over the sale of Hotel Marine Plaza at Marine Drive. It is learnt that the Bureau has collected a mass of information about the controversy since there are allegations about the Dawood Ibrahim gang's involvement. Dawood is a globally designated terrorist; a charge which has been levelled by both the United Nations and the state department of the United States. The role of certain policemen and a Congress leader in the episode is also under the scanner. Meanwhile, the state home department is yet to respond to the application made by Javed Shroff, chairman of the Habib Trust, which owns the prestigious hotel, for police protection.
Wrong to corner the market
Veteran and highly-respected banker Uday Kotak's observation that "India must not let a few conglomerates define its destiny..." is being silently endorsed by many in India Inc. His remark was obviously aimed at the Adani Group which has been growing by leaps and bounds under the current dispensation. There is widespread resentment among industrialists over the special treatment being accorded to Adani. Soon after Mr Kotak made his remarks, the Enforcement Directorate raided the residence of Pawan Munjal, the respected chairman of Hero MotoCorp, and that too for allegedly generating counterfeit invoices worth Rs6 crore! Many feel that it was certainly a matter which could have been handled in a nuanced manner, especially considering the high status enjoyed by Mr Munjal and also since the amount was a piddling Rs6 crore. Many feel that there was absolutely no need to humiliate an industry veteran like Mr Munjal and treat him as a criminal. These developments do not augur well for the BJP which is gearing itself for the general elections.
Party in court
A strange thing happened in the court of special judge (National Investigation Agency) A K Lahoti on Tuesday. It was the birthday of the judge and public prosecutor Avinash Rasal took it upon himself to distribute packets containing sweets and snacks to all those present in the courtroom. Some of the boxes were later distributed in the judge's chamber too. Normally, such things are simply not done. But nobody complained and all had a good time.
An exposé in offing
Certain Maratha activists have alleged that a prominent OBC leader has purchased a spacious apartment in one of the buildings on the Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate. The flat could have cost at least Rs25 crore. The activists are sore with this leader since he had opposed dilution of the OBC reservation to accommodate Kunbi Marathas. It is learnt that the activists are preparing a detailed dossier to expose this leader. The exposé may cover a huge land deal in Chembur, which was masterminded by this neta.
The growing clout of Rashmi Shukla, IPS, is worrying a senior politician. Ms Shukla's intelligence gathering skills are legendary and this is the reason this neta is worried.
Compiled by S Balakrishnan