I think we approve of this, don’t we?

An MLA, who belongs to the ruling party in Telangana, paid Rs 50 lakh to two tribal priests to perform a special pooja so that he gets a ministerial berth. However, when the duo failed to give him the promised political fortune, the MLA sent them to police custody.

50 lakh is something like $100,000 US. It’s a significant sum (although, you know, perhaps not for Indian politics).

But yes, approval here. Nothing wrong with offering a service for a fee whether it be the invocation of a sky fairy or whatever. But you must deliver the service for the fee.

Contractual terms might matter here of course. “I will do a pooja for RS 50 lakh” is satisfied by doing a pooja. “You will get ministerial office if you pay my 50 lakh for a pooja” will only be satisfied by gaining office. The thing here being that I think we can all guess that 50 lakh for the pooja wasn’t the offer being made, not at that price.

So, yes, Sue ‘Em Danno!

5 thoughts on “I think we approve of this, don’t we?”

  1. I can sort of vaguely approve of the ability to sue them. If not for actually resorting to the law.

    I can’t approve of people abusing their status to have people taken in to custody over what, at worst, should be a commercial dispute.

  2. SE – well yes, but defrauding someone is usually criminal so will depend on the law and what was said to know whether such a case exists against the priests.

    If our budding urquhart had gone to the dark side for his ambition and sacrificed a couple of cows both he and the priests would either be dead or in custody for their own protection.

    If he’s willing to cough up that kind of dough it indicates either a) no other way. (in which case probably a good indicator) or b) the going rate for a ministerial brief is far higher if you have to approach the boss.

  3. But it is often, close to the margins, difficult to tell fraud from incompetence. Hence why quite so many ex-directors of companies ‘get away with it’ (in the pejorative language of our bien-pensant betters.)

    If the priests believed that their pooja would improve the chances of or even secure the ministerial position, possibly even because previous poojas had correlated with success for their clients (and would note that I have no experience of Indian law whatsoever) then surely this is commercial failure to achieve rather than criminal law?

    Even if there was a breach of the criminal law, then I would maintain that the correct process is for the MLA to have raised a complaint, charges to be files and then the priests to be arrested. Rather than “the MLA sent them to police custody.

    But then I can be hopelessly naive.

  4. SE- yes conceded, both fraudulent and turbulent priests difficult to prosecute when it comes down to faith.

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