DailyPost 2728

Investigation is the art of reaching the truth through the legal process, format and tools and its ability to take through the judicial process to its logical conclusion. Press reporters or journalists have done their bit and add value and sometimes provide unraveled dimension to facts, peeling it off layer after layer. We would very vividly remember International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ of the Panama Papers fame. Wikileaks was another model – providing a platform and making it free for all for document-based investigation, to make a meaning out of it all. Edward Snowden – Glenn Greenwald combination was another great model of investigation which rocked the world, with palpable reverberations even to this day.

The NGOs /Civil Society also adds it might to become gamechangers at times by way relevant research and investigation, when society /nation is at cross roads. Reporters’ Collective added to this effort in a recent revelation and judicial direction in this country. When facts / data based on research, revelation and open-source intelligence come together in a legal format /battle, the end result more often than not, end up in some worthwhile result, that one would have otherwise never been imagined of. Here we are talking of electoral bonds. Without getting into the politics of it, it opens vistas of investigation like nothing in history so far encompassing all fields.

The main issue pertains to economic offences and large number of other facets which would get associated to it, given the complex nature of transactions and its forward and backward linkage. The source of money, the financial state of the company and purview of quid pro quo, which has been talked about over and over again during the course of the legal battle and in the public domain. This is without bringing in propriety issues of business politics nexus, and the actions of the investigation agencies being genesis of it, in quite a few cases. Conspiracy and corruption add another dimension to it.

It could encompass from the nature of promoters of the company, contradiction in MCA information inside and outside, to shell companies. The balance sheets of the companies under cloud would reveal information which could be an eye opener. Money laundering can be another area, where the concerned agency would have a field day. God forbit if things get into the drugs and even worse areas. The investigation done so far has been outside of government agencies. They are on it now as well. Timing they see is providing major clues. The way the money was spend would provide tons of further threads, at least for the money spend during elections, lots of data would come out from the ECI. With documents / data galore and open-source intelligence tools at your command, it would become the mother of all investigations. If the data on our plate already is to be taken to its logical conclusion, all our agencies and regulators would have their hands full for the next few years. It would for sure cleanse our democratic system for a few decades.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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