20 May 2016

Murli Dhar: The Smokescreen of ‘Provisional Charges’

About a year and a half earlier, Mr Rundheersing Bheenick was replaced by Mr Rameshwurlall Basant Roi as Governor of the Bank of Mauritius (BoM) in the aftermath of the change of government. While the handing over was still being discussed at the top level of the BoM, an official statement was made by the BoM to the police to the effect that Mr Bheenick would have taken away with himself “confidential” files from the BoM.


It must be said that Mr Bheenick, during his tenure as Governor of the BoM, had not allowed the BoM’s key interest rate to drop the way some in the private sector would have liked, thus forestalling accompanying depreciation of the rupee that was the private sector’s real target. He thought this would amount to discouraging savings and be an unjust tax, in fact, on the public by instigating currency-driven price inflation. In so doing, he displeased the Minister of Finance. He did not also make friends among banks he accused of “fleecing” their customers by imposing successive numerous unjustified bank charges on their transactions or not accommodating, to the expected extent, credit demands from small enterprises...

Arguments have been made in favour of the police having recourse to ‘provisional  charges’ if only to help it ground up firmly with time the evidence of criminal wrong-doing it already holds in particular cases. But when charges of the sort are levelled, for reasons unknown, to bring ignominy upon respected citizens of the country who have held high office, the loss of private freedom due to the abusive exercise of the related power of arrest is hardly reckoned with...

Mauritius Times

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