To rewind, a few days back, OpIndia.com and another site Lopak.org had reported that The Wire was planning another hitjob against an NDA minister. A source had informed us that ‘The Wire’ was planning to target Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, by trying to establish a link between his daughter’s legal firm and scam ridden Mehul Choksi’s Geetanjali Gems Limited. We had detailed how the legal firm claimed that they had terminated a barely 1-month-old contract with the company. This story was published on 9th March.
Today, on 11th March, ‘The Wire’ has finally confirmed that we got it right. In a new post, ‘The Wire’ admitted that they were trying to establish the above link:
The Wire was indeed investigating the story and had done due diligence by sending a questionnaire to the law firm owned by Jaitley’s daughter and son-in-law, Jaiyesh Bakhshi.
‘The Wire’ then states that, on getting replies from the law firm, their “initial conclusion was that there wasn’t much of a story after all.“. This might seem discombobulating since we have now accessed documents which show that the journalist who was handling this matter, had gone on record to state the following (emphasis added):
I would like to add that our story is complete but we would ideally like to run it with your version.
So, ‘The Wire’ needs to answer how was the “story complete” even without waiting for the response of the very person based on whom the story was being made? And did the response they received from the law firm make them suddenly believe that a “complete story” was “not a story after all”? Or was it the fact that we burst their bubble even before they blew it?
Next, ‘The Wire’ seems awfully bothered about how we got our information:
Either the intelligence agencies are monitoring the phones and emails of The Wire’s staff and/or of Bakhshi, and passed on details about the story to OPINDIA. Or the “source” is Bakhshi or an associate, or a person tasked by them.
The same question could be asked of ‘The Wire’ itself. Who tipped them off that Jaitley’s daughter’s firm was engaged by Geetanjali Gems? A commercial transaction which has not been disclosed in the public domain reached reporters of ‘The Wire’. Most definitely the law firm did not leak this news. So was it Mehul Choksi’s Geetanjali Gems? Are journalists of ‘The Wire’ asking Geetanjali Gems owners or employees about any links to any BJP leader hoping the hit the bullseye while shooting in the dark?
Or, as we had pointed out earlier, is there a larger figure running the scheme of things?
It comes at a time when former Finance Minister Chidambaram is in the dock for the INX media case. Plus, Chidambaram is also in the gaze for signing a last minute order which primarily benefited Choksi’s and Nirav Mehta’s firms. A report which links Choksi to Jaitley then would make life much easier for Chidambaram.
So for some reason, ‘The Wire’ has decided not to cover a story on why Chidambaram, on the day 2014 Lok Sabha results were known, okayed a schemed that benefitted 13 private firms including that of Mehul Choksi and later the then RBI governor sanctioned that diluted 20:80 Gold Scheme five days before Modi took oath as the new Prime Minister. This glaring connection between Chidambaram, Raghuram Rajan and the Nirav Modi – Mehul Choksi scam has escaped the brave journalists at ‘The Wire’ completely.
In the past week, there have been at least 2 instances of ‘The Wire’ trying to link Finance Ministry related persons, to either Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi. Both stories have failed. When attempts were being made to tie the Finance Secretary Adhia to Nirav Modi, and the link failed, the story was spun around to “Why did Adhia accept gold biscuits from an anonymous person”. When the “complete story” of Jaitley with Choksi was outed by us even before ‘The Wire’ published it, a new stand was taken that “it was not a story after all”.
The question, therefore, should not be: Who is the source for which story. The question should be: Why is ‘The Wire’ moving mountains to somehow try and find a link between Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi, with some NDA minister or functionary, especially from the Finance Ministry? What is the motive? And can this motive which clearly seems ulterior, be dolled up as “investigative journalism” by elements who wouldn’t know the truth if it hit them in their face?
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017