Rajat Sharma


akbThere should be no confusion about the Reserve Bank of India order announcing withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes from circulation after September 30, 2023. All banks have been directed to exchange these notes for other denominations at bank branches till that date. The RBI order says, these notes will continue to be legal tender till that date. This move comes nearly five and a half years after demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes on November 8, 2016. Confusion is sought to be created even after the detailed RBI notification issued on Friday evening. Some opposition leaders are trying to project this as another round of demonetization. Some have claimed there will again be long queues outside banks for exchange of notes. Some have said, this order has created problems for the common people. But the ground reality is that there are at present nearly 34 lakh crore currency notes in circulation, out of which only 3,62,000 currency notes are in Rs 2000 denomination, which comes to less than ten per cent. The RBI order will not impact the daily life of common people. It is not that those having Rs 2,000 notes will have to hurry and get their notes exchanged. They have been given more than four months’ time. Hence, there is no need to create unnecessary panic. One should not listen to rumours.


Former Mumbai zonal director of Narcotics Control Bureau Sameer Wankhede has submitted before the Bombay High Court, some messages sent to him by superstar Shahrukh Khan from October 3 to 15, 2021, when the latter’s son Aryan Khan was in custody after the cruise drugs raid. By citing copies of these messages, Wankhede, who is facing CBI action on corruption charges, has sought to argue that “nowhere it suggests” a demand was made for Rs 25 crore from Shahrukh Khan for early release of his son. Wankhede got relief from the vacation judge till Monday, and the CBI has said, it does not intend to arrest him immediately. CBI has filed an FIR against Wankhede, an officer of Indian Revenue Service, two officials, Ashish Ranjan and Vishwa Vijay Singh (already dismissed), and two private individuals, for seeking Rs 25 crore bribe for not implicating Aryan Khan in the drugs seizure case. In the messages, Shahrukh Khan has been shown imploring and begging Wankhede not to implicate his son. Most of the messages convey the deep pain and desperation of a father, which Wankhede has sought to exploit. Wankhede is trying to portray himself as an innocent officer, but he is not so. Had he been innocent, he would not have recorded his confidential conversations with his senior officers, nor would he had leaked the messages that Shahrukh sent him. These are not signs of innocence. The grim reality is that Wankhede knew that Aryan was innocent, he knew that no drugs were found with Aryan, he also knew that when Aryan would be sent to custody, his father Shahrukh would be desperate to go to any extent. Wankhede decided to blackmail Shahrukh, and a plan to extort Rs 25 crore was made. Wankhede made all attempts to intimidate Shahrukh Khan, threw an innocent youth in jail, and tried to strike fear by sending messages on phone. He recorded all messages and calls that he got from Delhi and Mumbai, and on Friday, he produced copies of all messages that he got from Shahrukh and other officials. The aim was to bolster his defence in court. Innocent bureaucrats never go to such extent. Such acts are committed by gangsters or underworld blackmailers. Now that CBI has amassed concrete evidence, and a case has been registered, Wankhede knows he may be arrested, and he is thus seeking God’s blessings, and mercy and justice from court. One may ask why he did not show mercy, when a desperate father was begging him for help, which he disregarded and threw his son into jail? He tried to take advantage of a desperate father, and treated a 21-year-old youth as a hardcore criminal. Wankhede is now afraid. He knows he may have to go to prison for his sins. In my view, this matter is grave because Sameer Wankhede tried to prove himself as an honest officer. He was in a responsible post and he misused his position. CBI should, therefore, probe this matter deeply and set an example so that no officer should commit such acts in future.


The Supreme Court appointed experts’ committee headed by former SC judge A M Sapre has held that there was no regulatory failure on SEBI’s part, nor did it find any evidence to suggest that the rise in prices of Adani scrips was due to unusual trading, or buying or selling of scrips of Adani group companies by 12 foreign portfolio investors, suspected to be linked to the same group. The six-member experts’ committee has submitted its report to the apex court giving Adani group a clean chit. The report said, Adani group was not found engaged in any manipulation in sale or purchase of group companies’ scrips. The committee has also said that despite the Hindenburg report, the trust of small investors in Adani group of companies ha snot declined. On the other hand, people have invested more money in Adani group scrips. It said, some investors indulged in short-selling after the Hindenburg report came on January 24, but the stock market, on the whole, was stable. The opposition parties had raised a hue and cry and had stalled the entire Parliament session by pressing demand for constituting a joint parliamentary committee to probe the matter. Statements were made that industrialist Gautam Adani had created his empire in thin air, and his entire empire was built on leaves. Gautam Adani himself came before the public ands in ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ show, replied to each and every query. Adani told me in the show that he and his group never violated law or took recourse to illegal methods, and he was ready to face inquiry. He also assured all investors that they would not lose a single paisa. Gautam Adani has now been proved right. The report that was submitted on Friday, is not a final report. SEBI will file its final report before August 14 this year. Only after that, all facts relating to Gautam Adani will come before the people. The experts’ committee report has made one point clear: There is no fact to substantiate the allegations that have been levelled till now. Those who levelled allegations cannot question this report because the experts committee was constituted by the Supreme Court, and it was on the direction of the apex court that the committee’s report was made public.

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