Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal of the Rouse Avenue Court yesterday began the cross-examination of Vivek Doval in his criminal defamation case against The Caravan Magazine, Journalist Kaushal Shroff, and Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh..The cross-examination on behalf of Kaushal Shroff was conducted by Advocates Bhavook Chauhan and Harsh Bora. .Doval has admitted that there was “no particular academic qualification” which allowed anybody to operate a hedge fund, but professional and academic experiences enabled a person to have a successful career in hedge funds..He acknowledged that in his case, he had 16 years of work experience in the financial world and had cleared the requisite regulatory exams for his career as a hedge fund manager, which included courses on anti-money laundering and market conduct..He, however, stated that he was unaware of the fact that the Cayman Islands did not levy income tax, corporate tax, and capital gains tax..“Q. Before the registration of the GNY Asia Fund in Cayman Islands, did you as a prudent financial expert/analyst try to ascertain the rate of income tax, corporate tax and capital gains tax as applicable in Cayman Island..A. No, I didn’t. However, the reason for registering the fund in the Cayman Islands was premised on where other majority of hedge funds get registered as opposed to any major tax factors.”.Also read:Vivek Doval defamation suit against The Caravan, Jairam Ramesh: Live Updates.He stated that the relevant factor in launching the Fund was being aware of the geographies in which the Fund invested and whether they applied taxes on the investments..It was thus recorded as his statement,.“It is wrong to suggest that I have falsely deposed that I didn’t try to ascertain the rate of income tax, corporate tax and capital gains tax levied at the Cayman Islands..It is wrong to suggest that myself being a qualified and experienced financial expert/analyst, I was aware even before the registration of GNY Asia Fund that the Cayman Islands does not levy the rate of income tax, corporate tax and capital gains tax..It is wrong to suggest that my aforesaid explanation is an afterthought or that I am purposely feigning ignorance with respect to my knowledge about taxes not being levied at the Cayman Island as this would falsify my allegations in the present complaint.”.The defence thereafter asked Doval if the GNY Fund ever made profits during its operations..The answer being in the affirmative, the defence proceeded to ask if the Fund ever paid tax on profits to the Cayman Island Government..“There are so many taxes that the Fund was paying in various geographies that I was genuinely unaware of taxes payable in the Cayman Island”, Doval said..The set of questions ended with the defence asking Doval to submit information on the taxes paid by the Fund in the Cayman Islands after procuring the same from its auditors SS&C and PwC..The defence also asked if Doval was aware that Syed Ali Abbas, one of the initial investors in the GNY Asia Fund, was a Director in Shaurya Doval’s Torch Financial Services and that Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah Turki Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was on its supervisory board..It was further asked,.“Q. Are you aware that Syed Ali Abbas, Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah Turki Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Shaurya Doval are Directors and Shareholders in Torch Investment Management Investment Pvt Ltd in Singapore?.An. No.”.The defence further suggested that anyone’s association with the House of Saud was a matter of pride and was not defamatory in any manner. Doval said,.“I can only speak on my behalf and the GNY Asia Fund. The article says a lot of unrelated facts, some true, some perhaps true and some perhaps false, put together in such a way to give a picture of something immoral and illicit happening. The House of Saud is an irrelevant point for me and Fund. I do not have any Saudi investors. So an incorrect fact placed with other incorrect facts creates a distorted picture of the professional.”.Doval also deposed that he “didn’t exactly know” that “House of Saud” referred to the Saudi Royal family and that he was unaware that Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah Turki Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was a member of it..Questions were also put with respect to Shaurya Doval’s association with India Foundation, a research centre and think tank based in New Delhi..“ Q. Are you aware that Shaurya Doval is a member of the board of governors of the Foundation?.A. I am aware that Shaurya Doval does something related to the Foundation but given the fact I have never visited the Foundation or most likely met anyone there, I do not have much knowledge.Q. Are you aware that several esteemed politicians, parliamentarians and ministers who are members of BJP, are or have been governors and director of India Foundation?.A. No..Q. After having read the article, did you try to ascertain it from Shaurya Doval.. about his status in India Foundation and role of various leaders of BJP therein?.A. No..Q. Are you aware that India Foundation has organized various events for leaders of BJP?.An. No”.The defence also put a series of questions to Vivek Doval on the report on Indian Black Money Abroad in Secret Banks and Tax Havens by his father Ajit Doval..Doval, however, claimed that he was unaware of the contents of the report..Vivek Doval’s cross-examination will continue on September 3-4..Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, who appeared for Jairam Ramesh, has already concluded the cross-examination of Vivek Doval..Vivek Doval had filed the defamation case after The Caravan published an article titled The D Companies, which alleged that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s sons ran a web of companies, including a Cayman Islands hedge fund, to round-trip black money in the time of demonetisation..The article suggested overlaps between the brothers’ businesses i.e. Vivek Doval’s GNY Asia Fund and a “web of companies” run by Shaurya Doval, indicating “a larger financial universe run by them, with companies that are connected to the House of Saud, the ruling dynasty in Saudi Arabia”.