EDS Bribed Indian Officials – So What?

What’s all this hullabaloo about IT company EDS paying $720,000 in bribes to Indian officials?

We just don’t understand all this sound and fury and gnashing of teeth. It’s all much ado about nothing.

After all, taking and giving bribes is a great Indian tradition.

Scores of Bollywood movies show ministers and officers demanding and taking lakhs of Rupees – as they say in the Hindi movies these are not bribes mind you but a small something to buy candy for the kids.

Remember the Swedish gun manufacturer Bofors‘ huge bribes to Indian officials. In two decades of investigations has anyone been caught despite all the noise?

Tehelka showed pictures of high officials taking money. What happened – Tehelka was crushed.

Yes, EDS paid at least $720,000 to senior officials of two Indian public sector companies between 2001 and 2003 who had apparently threatened to cancel a major contract. The bribes were in the form of cash, gifts and services.

Bribes were paid. And the contract continued.

Everything would have been just fine and we would’ve gone on drinking our Lattes and Lassis without wasting time on blogging this story.

Except that the matter came out, caught the SEC’s attention and EDS now has to pay a fine of $490,902 for the various violations.

And poor Chandramowli Srinivasan, the former president of EDS’ erstwhile unit A.T.Kearney India has to pay a fine of $70,000 although he neither denied nor admitted to the bribery.

No, we really are not desperate to know the names of the two Indian public sector companies involved, the identity of the officials who received the bribes or what Chandramowli Srinivasan is doing now.

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