It’s been over six months since the Raju scandal came to light. But we are nowhere near to a decision. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that whatever is happening with Raju right now is just an eye wash. Ultimately he will get off cheap, and I won’t be surprised if he starts another company on his release. If anyone can do this, it is him. Irrespective of his criminal acts he has a very sharp brain, if he could do it once, he can very well do it again.
Compare this to the Bernard Madoff scandal. Madoff admitted that his fraud exceeded $50 billion, making it the largest Ponzi scheme that the world has ever witnessed. He ran this fraud for almost thirty years, during which time he defrauded European royalty, hedge funds from across the world, America’s top businessman and executives, and even a US Senator. If the Madoff scandal had happened in India, the trial itself would have lasted at least 15 years considering that the victims were from across the world. But this isn’t how things work in the US.
The US judicial system, in conjunction with various government agencies, has handed out a sentence of 150 years in prison without the hope of getting parole. Unfortunately for Madoff, the prison sentence is only a part his trial and sentencing. The US government has already seized three or four houses spread across US, property in France, household furniture and items, and even his sailing boat. The US authorities are so focused in selling off Madoiff’s assets to repay the victims that it has also not spared his wife Ruth Madoff, as she is is filing suits to prevent the US Government from seizing her personal assets which she claims are entirely her own, and Madoff’s ill-gotten wealth wasn’t used to acquire or maintain them. She has also been forced to forfeited her claim to her right to her husband’s property. For now she has been left with $2.5 million in cash. She also gave up rights to $2.6 million in jewelry.
But here in India, things work in a whole different way. Take Ramalinga Raju’s trial as an example. Though he surrendered in early January itself, the investigating agency is trying to buy more and more time saying that Satyam fraud much bigger than disclosed by Raju. I don’t know about you, but I for one think its rather stupid of CBI to go by what Raju confessed in the first place.
The Madoff scandal was spread over 30 years and involved sums of money at least 100 times of what Ramalinga Raju is accused of embezzling. But Madoff has already started serving his sentence. So why is Raju’s trial taking so long? I personally believe that is a lack of both will and competence to put Raju in prison.