It was exactly eight in the morning of November 19 when the Ambassadors carrying the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team braked in front of the building called Sea Wind in Mumbai's posh Cuffe Parade. A few minutes later, the CBI men went further than any government agency had gone in the 35 years since Reliance Industries came into public focus. They entered Dhirubhai Ambani's top-floor apartment with a search and seizure warrant.
Simultaneously, CBI teams were barging into Reliance offices both in Mumbai and Delhi, and into the houses of top executives of the Rs 13,000-crore company. They stayed for more than eight hours, scouring every nook and cranny of the premises with a fine toothcomb. It was no ordinary raid. Indeed, strangely enough, for a company that has always matched the meteoric speed of its business growth with a penchant for lurching from controversy to scandal, this was only the third time that the company had been raided in three decades.