JANATA Party President Subramanian Swamy's latest target is G.K. Moopanar, Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC)leader. And once Swamy filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court alleging that the CBI was going slow in the Indian Bank probe because the TMC was part of the United Front (UF) coalition, it was only a matter of time before the apex court responded, sending a notice to the CBI that it should be kept posted on the proceedings.
In the past, Moopanar has been hard put to explain his relationship with Indian Bank's longest serving chairman M. Gopalakrishnan, who has been squarely blamed for the fraud. In 1995-96 alone, the bank registered a whopping loss of Rs 1,336.4 crore—its accumulated losses over the decades was put at Rs 1,712.79 crore.
A bench comprising Chief Justice-designate J.S. Verma and Justice B.N. Kirpal has requested Anil Diwan, senior advocate, to assist the court—i.e, keep it abreast of the happenings. Swamy, who was pushed into political hibernation by the DMK-TMC combine, was shrewd enough to see the potential in the Indian Bank scam story—the affairs of the bank was controlled by senior Congress politicians between 1988 and 1995. Moopanar has also gone on record saying that he played a crucial role in getting a record number of extensions (seven) for Gopalakrishnan.
Swamy's petition avers that "certain very influential politicians have defrauded the Indian Bank of more than Rs 2,000 crore and that its former chairman Gopalakrishnan had, over a long period of time, been involved in several offences and contravention of law under the penal code, the FERA and other laws". Swamy also alleged that since the UF was dependent on the TMC and because of political pressures from the delinquents, Gopalakrishnan and Moopanar in particular, the investigations were sluggish.
While it's true that there are glaring errors in Swamy's petition, the banking industry sees the writ and the apex court's notice as the first step towards correcting the distortions started by Janardhan Poojary through loan melas in the early '80s. The Indian Bank lent out large sums at will, which is the main reason for its predicament.