Saturday, Nov 29, 2003
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By Aarti Dhar
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Jaitley said enquiries made by him and the party proved the involvement of Amit in the episode. "Rajat Prasad, the person who had booked the room in the five-star hotel where the operation is believed to have taken place, is a Delhi-based financier and he and his brother, Mr. Rohit Prasad, are the director and chief executive officer of Akash Channel, a local channel of Chhattisgarh. Both of them are known to be close to Mr. Amit Jogi," he said.
Mr. Jaitley said he had made enquiries with the Ministry of Environment and Forest and learnt that no Australian company had ever approached it for mining contract. "Had the company been genuine, its representative would not have booked the room on a fake address and not necessarily made all payments in cash.
However, hotel records showed that the room had been booked by Mr. Rajat Prasad,'' he said, adding that Mr. Rajat and Mr. Rohit run R.R.Finances, at Indra Prakash building in New Delhi and both happen to be residents of Greater Kailash.
Checking with the Registrar of Companies office, Mr. Jaitley said records available with them showed that Rajat Prasad had been appointed Director of Akash Channel on October 23, 2002. That Akash Channel is controlled by Mr. Amit Jogi has been ascertained by the e-mail which is purportedly been sent by Mr. Amit Jogi to his friend wherein it makes a mention of "bifurcation of responsibilities of the Director and CEO of Akash Channel.''
Preliminary enquiries have also indicated that the two brothers and their associates have been in touch with Amit during this period, he added.
The issue that arises here is that Indian law does not permit any foreign national to control or own either the electronic or print media and since Amit does not have Indian nationality, it is an offence.
"It appears that the two brothers were used as a front to run the channel or else why should a CEO of a company based in Raipur be in Delhi,'' he asked, demanding an enquiry into the ownership also.
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