Friday, April 24, 2009

So if the newspaper is so bad...

Can you trust the soon to be launched (yet delayed) TV channel?

Excerpts from the SEBI report courtesy a reader. Read para 35 onwards.

As seen below in this order, another person Shri Rajesh Unnikrishnan, also appears to have facilitated the publication in the media of the forged letter that was sent to Shri Saminathan. Shri. Rajesh Unnikrishnan is presently the Assistant Editor of Economic Times. He was also a former colleague of Shri Rakesh Sharma in Business Standard. Shri. Unnikrishnan had also covered some stories for Economic Times on transfer of PSTL shares from one promoter to another, prior to the forgery. It was also further observed that Shri Unnikrishnan was in touch with Shri Nirmal Kotecha, particularly after December 10, 2008.
Shri Rakesh Sharma, before being arrested had claimed that the forged SEBI letter was e-mailed by him from Shri Nirmal Kotecha’s residence by using his own personal e-mail ID to his following media contacts, (Shri Raj Nambisan of DNA, Shri Partha Sinha of TOI and Shri Ashish Rukhaiyar of ET) before accompanying Shri Rajesh Unnikrishnan to Dalal Street side around 2:00 p.m. Based on the copies of the e-mail submitted to SEBI by the reporters, I find that the Investigation has revealed that the e-mail to Shri Partha Sinha was sent at 1:43 p.m. i.e. around the time when the tower location for all three of them as seen in the data was Matunga (East)/ King Circle. Shri Kotecha’s residence is also at Matunga (East)/ King Circle. This corroborates Shri Rakesh Sharma’s initial admission that the e-mail to Shri Partha Sinha was forwarded from the computer in Shri Kotecha’s residence, when all three of them were at his residence.
Shri Raj Nambisan of DNA informed the investigation team that he seemed to have deleted the e-mail that was sent to him. The e-mail details forwarded by Shri Ashish Rukhaiyar of Economic Times shows that the e-mail was sent by Shri Rakesh Shrama from his personal e-mail ID to Shri Rukhaiyar’s personal e-mail ID at 3:03 p.m. Further, though Shri Rakesh Sharma claimed that the forged SEBI letter was e-mailed by him to only three of his friends
in the media, I find that he had also forwarded the forged SEBI letter by e-mail to Shri Dheer Kothari (one of his ex-colleagues in Adfactors who is based in Kolkata). From the copy of the e-mail made available by Shri Dheer Kothari, I observe that Shri Rakesh Sharma had forwarded the e-mail to him at 1:43 p.m. on December 20, 2008 i.e. again at a time when all three of them were at Matunga.


S Ramanathan said...


What do you have against ET? :P

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is an unfortunate incident but to assume that the newspaper is "so bad" as you have suggested, is a little unfair.

ET Print still has some of the brightest guys in the industry - MK Venu, TK Arun, Sugata Ghosh, Mythli Bhusnurmath, to name just a few. Top that with one of the best bosses that the paper has ever had (Rahul Joshi) and you know that the paper's credibility and quality is not going to be impacted in any manner by this one incident.
CNBC is shitting bricks with the launch of ET NOW, which is just round the corner. By going to town with the Pyramid Saimira incident, they are only screaming out their insecurity. The whole world knows just how competent Messrs Udayan Mukherjee, Lata Venkatesh and the rest of the team there is.
I met the CEO of a private bank recently at a press conference and in private, he told me that with the likes of Lata Venkatesh as Banking Editor at CNBC, he looks for banking sector news on other channels such as STAR News, Aaj Tak and more recently, INDIA TV. That should give you a sense of just how much she knows about the sector she covers.
Also, by virtue of being the largest business daily, ET journos are constanly under the lens in whatever they do.
I can give you names of extremely corrupt journos at other papers such as BS, FE and the like. But if their names were to ever come to light, people are only going to react by saying, "Big deal. How much of an impact can a DNA/BS/FE story have on the market?"
Sad, but true. But please, please do not paint all ET reporters with the same brush.

Anonymous said...

Why are you advertising BL Sharma Prem.. Hes a loony fringe Hindu fundamentalist. Or this trait of supping with the fundamentalists runs in your family??

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous,
"Yes, this is an unfortunate incident but to assume that the newspaper is "so bad" as you have suggested, is a little unfair."

True, I think that its too easy and perhaps a bit too premature to write-off ET based on the misdemeanors of an assistant editor. As a professional within the communications agency, the involvment of a PR exec ex or otherwise of AdFactors also puts a spotlight at the whole gamut of the communications sector. Kotecha may have been the mastermind but he did not act alone. The forged SEBI element is simply the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

Unnikrishnan did not act alone.
The involvement of a PR agency seems to have blurred into the background.

Just an observation...

Bharat said...

But we cannot always say newspaper is so bad

Anonymous said...

How many people know that Rajesh Unnikrishnan too worked for Adfactors group earlier??

hardilaziz said...

It is unfortunate that journalists are falling for the trap, time and again. There are many more guilty of insider trading. They will be nabbed when their time is up!