Team Anna eying army chief post-retirement

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said on Thursday that if Army Chief  General V K Singh decides to join their movement against corruption  after his retirement from the army, Team Anna would welcome him in.

He also said that even if Singh fights for the cause from other platform, Team Anna would support him. He along with another Team Anna member – Arvind Kejriwal – were speaking at a conference, alleging evidence of kickbacks and money laundering in several defence deals and how a well-oiled commission raj is going on.

They alleged that they possess documents that suggest that Abhishek Verma, son of a former Congress MP and prime accused in the Navy War room leak case has been involved as a middleman in many defence deals and that the Central Bureau of Investigation and the government is protecting him.

In December 2010, India had imposed anti-dumping duty of $ 100 million on Israeli firm ECI Telecom. Documents apparently suggest that ECI Telecom approached Ganton Limited, allegedly a front for Verma, to get the anti-dumping duty rolled back. The documents contain a copy of an email allegedly written by Verma to an ECI representative on 11 December 2011, around a month before Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna visited Israel.

An e-mail from Abhishek Verma to Zeev, an ECI Telecom officer, claims to be in the know of what transpired in a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. It further assures ECI Telecom how the Foreign Minister would help ECI Telecom during his forthcoming visit to Israel. If the contents of this mail are true, then we have a very dangerous situation. Are the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also a part of this commission raj? Was the Foreign Minister's trip to Israel fixed?' questioned Kejrival, stating that the Foreign Minister had indeed visited Israel on the date mentioned in the documents.

Agents like Abhishek Verma collect commissions for those in power, the powerful people in turn protect them. Therefore, the task of CBI, ED and all other agencies is to defend,  protect and support agents like Abhishek Verma,' said Bhushan.

Bhushan said that he has received a number of documents from estranged business partner of Verma, C Edmonds Allen, which provide evidence of kickbacks and money laundering in several defence deals. According to them, Allen had written and provided various documents of defence deals to Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate and various central ministers, but nothing moved against Verma.

There has been complete silence on the part of all Indian law-enforcement agencies even when they had been supplied various materials regarding the same by Allen. At least the government and these agencies should have investigated the matter properly,' said Kejriwal. They, however, said that they do not know if these documents are genuine or not, but they seemed to be genuine documents and the law enforcement agencies should have investigated the matter when Allen had made them available.

'These documents reveal that the allegations made by General V K Singh are not just true but only a shadow of a matters much  worse. Documents reveal a very well-oiled and a well entrenched system of commissions. Rather than commissions being taken in normal work, it appears that these commissions dictate decisions,' said Bhushan.
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