The Weekend Leader - India's corporate femme fatale shatters many myths (IANS Special)

India's corporate femme fatale shatters many myths (IANS Special)



 The twisted route of shady dealings and corporate rip off by femme fatale in India has shattered many myths.

Wizard in their rights, these women not only gave sleuths a run for their money nearly managing to give them the slip but even managed to keep their loved ones in the dark about their amibitions and desire. They pulled off brutal crimes including murdering one's own child.

On Wednesday, one of these femme fatale Honeypreet Insan, the adopted daughter of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and famously known as "Papa's Angel", was granted bail in the 2017 Panchkula violence case.

Honeypreet managed all the money and business dealings of Ram Rahim while he ruled over millions in India and abroad.

The women though who tops the list is Indrani Mukerjea -- a name most vilified for strangling her own daughter, while there is a surprise entry that has emerged out of obscurity is Madi Sharma, an International Broker.

Then there is Yasmin Kapoor who came into limelight after she was caught by the Indian federal investigative agencies two months ago in Aviation scam case.

Also we have Sonia Dhawan, the vice president of communications and public relations at Paytm, who climbed the ladder serving in prison for an alleged extortion case involving the company's founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Who is Yasmin Kapoor?

All we have heard till now is Yasmin Kapoor is a close aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar. She has been lodged in Tihar jail in Aviation scandal dating back to 2008-09. She is also facing charges of an alleged violation of foreign exchange rules by NGO Advantage India.

The aviation scandal pertains to former civil aviation minister Praful Patel decision to give air traffic rights for foreign private airlines at the cost of national carrier Air India. Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, who was extradited from Dubai in January, had received Rs 272 crore in bribes while acting as a middleman and liaising with several government functionaries to illegally secure favourable air traffic rights for foreign private airlines.

Kapoor has been involved in laundering the ill-gotten money of Talwar in non government and private organizations. She owns Stone Travels Pvt Ltd. Her company received $ 235,120 from Gilt Asset Management Ltd, one of eight offshore companies of Talwar, during 2010-2011 and 2011- 2012. The investigative agencies has found that out of Rs 272 crore kickbacks, Rs 144 crore was received by Gilt Asset Management.

Interestingly, Kapoor's residence on APJ Abdul Kalam road was owned by Gulshan Promoters Pvt Ltd, one of whose promoters, Devendra Dogra had received $3.765 million from Gilt Asset Management, Enforcement Directorate has found during probe.

Further it was also found that Dogra and Neel Patnakar, the shareholders of Gulshan Promoters, transferred their shareholding in Gulshan Promoters to Sunrise Trust, in which Kapoor and her daughters Karina and Yamini Kapoor were the beneficial owners. Dogra, Kapoor and Talwar have been trustees of Sunrise Trust. Kapoor has been a director in Gulshan Promoters from 2001 to 2018.

She is also facing charges of an alleged violation of foreign exchange rules by NGO Advantage India. The Delhi-based NGO Advantage India, its owner Talwar, Kapoor and four others, are accused for of misusing Rs 90.72 crore donations from two defence and aviation firms -- MBDA and Airbus SAS.

It is alleged that France-based Airbus SAS and UK-based missile manufacturer MBDA International gave about Rs 90.72 crore to the NGO for initiatives related to healthcare and education but the money was later found to have been used for purchasing properties.

The Advantage India flouting several provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), including "false statements, false accounts, claimed bogus expenses, furnished concocted vouchers, purchased three luxury cars over Rs 84 lakh, payment made by NGO for foreign visits of Talwar, funds used for making payment related to business activities of the founder of Advantage India.

In 2015, Talwar transferred the Directorship of Advantage India to his wife, Deepa, but didn't intimate the Ministry about the change in violation of Rule 17A of the FCRA.

Who is Madi Sharma?

A UK-based Sharma organised an unofficial visit of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to Jammu and Kashmir. Amazingly, it was all-paid VIP trip.

She represented herself as head of an organization called Women's Economic and Social Think Tank (WESTT), which worked with the European Parliament and governments and non-governmental organizations across the world. She had written invitations to select Members of the European Parliament, telling them that she was organising a prestigious VIP meeting with the Prime Minister of India.

She told the small group of European politicians that they will be on a three-day visit to India wherein they will meet Prime Minister and next day will visit Kashmir. She had clearly mentioned it is a sponsored trip by the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies.

It was also found that she founded and runs Madi Group, which is a group of the international private sector, not-for-profit companies and NGOs and has authored a book titled "Madi No Excuses!" She also claims of working in India and across Europe with businesses and governments.

The visit has stirred a major controversy as Opposition parties have attacked the government, questioning why Indian parliamentarians are being denied permission to visit Kashmir when foreign MPs are allowed to go there. Further, they demanded answer from the government about Madi Sharma's profile. She earned a name in the list of women corporate movers in India.

Who is Sonia Dhawan?

Two months ago, Sonia Dhawan, the former Paytm executive and the prime accused in an alleged extortion case involving the company's founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, joined back Paytm group. She joined Paytm First Games in September this year. Gamepind Entertainment, which owns Paytm First Games, is a joint venture between Alibaba's AGTech and Paytm's parent One97 Communications.

Earlier, she was a former vice president of communications and public relations at Paytm and had spent nearly five months in jail after Ajay Shekhar Sharma, senior vice-president of the company and the founder's brother, lodged an FIR against her.

She along with three other accused were alleged to have stolen private data belonging to Sharma and tried to extort Rs 10 crore.

Dhawan however claimed innocenceand said that she never indulged in any illegal activity, or secretly obtained data from any laptop or indulged in blackmail.

In June, Dhawan had joined as director of corporate communications at Sheroes, an online community and job portal for women, where Paytm's chief Sharma was an investor and a board member.

Sources said that she holds a major share in the Patym group and this has led to case against her the majority stake holder.

Who is Honeypreet Insan?

Honeypreet Insan, the adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, was behind bars in 2017 Panchkula violence case. She got bail in the case on Wednesday and was released late evening. Last week, she also got relief when sedition charges against her were dropped in connection with the violence following the conviction of the Dera chief in rape cases.

The Panchkula police had booked Honeypreet and other Dera followers on the charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy in connection with the Panchkula violence case. Honeypreet, along with others, was named in the FIR for allegedly conspiring to incite violence in Panchkula that broke out following the conviction of the Dera head in August 2017.

Her real name is Priyanka Taneja and she has risen in Rahim's influence in the sect, so much so, that people took her words to be Rahim's decisions. She has also acted, edited and directed movies on Ram Rahim. She acted in 'MSG 2 -The Messenger' and later had a special appearance in 'MSG-The Warrior Lion Heart'.

She was married to an old Dera follower, Vishwas Gupta on February 14, 1999. Gupta later in 2011 approached the court and alleged an illicit relationship between Ram Rahim and his wife Honeypreet. Honeypreet and Gupta then got separated and she started living in the Dera.

It is also alleged that Honeypreet had conspired to prevent his son Jasneet Insan from succeeding as Dera chief. Jasneet Insan is the son of now jailed Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim with his wife Harjeet Kaur. Also Honeypreet and Rahim shut his son Jasneet's business and let his 'adopted daughter' re-launch the same as a modified brand in 2016. Rahim and his son were directors in Posh Real Estate Pvt Ltd and Sat Fruits and Refer Pvt Ltd, but resigned later. Other prominent companies include Glorious Immigration Consultants Pvt Ltd, Hakikat Entertainment Pvt Ltd, MSG Tech Communication Pvt Ltd, and MSG Electric System Pvt Ltd.

Who is Indrani Mukerjea?

The news about a socialite killing of her daughter left the country in shock. INX Media's jailed co-founder Indrani Mukerjea, wife of businessman Peter Mukerjea, had killed her daughter Sheena Bora. Not only that she climbing the corporate ladder using all illegal means. She violated law to get foreign money through Foreign Direct Investment without permission and that has landed a former Finance Minister -- P. Chidamabaram -- in jail for allegedly partnering her in the crime.

Currently, she is lodged in Tihar jail. She is now the prime witness in the case against Congress politician P. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in government clearance given to INX Media to receive foreign investment to the tune of Rs 403.07 crore in 2007, when the senior Chidambaram was finance minister.

Her testimony together with her husband and INX Media co-founder Peter Mukerjea, is in jail for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, has led to P. Chidambaram behind bars. P. Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 in connection with the case.

She has become the new age the fall story of woman corporate movers. IANS 

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