Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Big names, Bigger frauds on the smallest of people

So I read this report in Business Standard – CBI quizzes Niranjan Hiranandani, CEO of Hiranadani Constructions for alleged fraud for defaulting on its statutory obligations. Apparently, they have not deposited Employees Provident Fund dues with the exchequer. As per the report, one of the group companies had unpaid PF liabilities running to Rs 160 crore for the financial year 2003-04.

The year 2003-04 rang a bell. I fish out another report published by Business Standard on December 11, 2004, in which several wrongdoings by Ashok Advani’s Business India group (including non-payment of employee dues) have been exposed. That report incidentally had a quote from Niranjan Hiranandani that now looks like he has been hurling rocks while being inside the glasshouse. I quote from that report –

“But Advani was succeeded on the Collegiate Board in November last year by Niranjan Hiranandani (of the real estate firm), and soon a case was filed against Advani.

Hiranandani does not mince his words. "This is the largest fraud and embezzlement in the history of education trusts in India. After I filed an FIR which led to his arrest, I received more than 40 phone calls from top industrialists congratulating me, and they said that I should have done this long back."

Stressing the tragic undertones of the development, Hiranandani pointed out: "I have erected statues of his father in my housing complexes, and he as a son has ruined his name."

Not sure whether EPF Commissioner had been authorized to erect statues of Mr.Hiranandani's father in his office premises earlier. Commonality of allegations however, is shocking. So is the state of the victims - poor, hapless and unpaid employees - in both cases!

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