Homeइन फोकसआलेखBiggest bank fraud probe raise many questions to explain

Biggest bank fraud probe raise many questions to explain


New Delhi ( Nirnimesh Kumar for ganatantra bharat) : Yet another bank fraud estimated to be of Rs. 23 thousand crore and affecting a consortium of 28 banks, including the premier public sector banks, SBI and others, and led the ICICI Bank, has hit the Indian citizens.

Gujarat-based corporate ABG Shipyard Ltd. has allegedly committed this biggest ever bank fraud lodged by the CBI.

I have deliberately used the term citizen as the sufferers in this fraud instead of naming it by any cliched financial terminology because it is we the people who entrust our hard earned money to banks to safeguard and earn money for themselves and for us.

Keeping aside the mudslinging among the political parties, I am quite amazed over the illogical delay in lodging an FIR against the accused.

The company’s accounts were declared Non-Performing Assets (NPA) by these banks in 2013 and the FIR came into being in 2022.

 The pace of probe by the affected banks fits in with a Hindi proverb ” Nau din chale, adhai kos” ( one travels two-and- a-half kilometres in nine days). But surprisingly, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the time taken to probe this scam is less than what it normally takes to inquire  into such matters.

” While it normally takes 52 to 56 months to detect such bank frauds, less time was taken to detect it and take action under the present government,” she told reporters as reported by The Hindu.

She congratulated the affected banks to take less that the time normally taken to detect such frauds. I leave it to the readers to apply their minds to the Minister’s defence and to understand how the system works when it comes to punishing the big fishes of bank frauds. We have seen Nirav Modi and earlier Vijay Mallaya defrauded the public sector banks and go abroad, leaving the banks and the probe agencies stuck in their tracks.

Not only the banks, the CBI too have to do a lot of explaining over lodging an FIR in the matter only this month when the SBI lodged two complaints with it in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Audit company Ernest &Young appointed by the lender banks for forensic auditing of the company’s accounts in April 2018 detected  frauds and submitted its report in 2019 which was considered by the fraud detection committee of the lenders. Thereafter, the SBI filed a second complaint in December 2020, the SBI said as reported by The Times of India.

The SBI’s details on the probe raise many questions for the CBI to explain.

Why did the CBI take three years since the first complaint to lodge an FIR? Even when it got a second complaint in December 2020, what hurdles were in their way to immediately lodge a case and arrest the accused? No explanation has so far come from the CBI to explain a delay of 14 months since the second complaint to lodge an FIR. Who will take the blame if the delay affects the investigation and the case falls in courts of law. The delay may become a tool in the hands of the accused to spike the case.

This case may prove another Bofors and other dime a dozen cases where the prosecution had eggs on their faces.

Photo curtsy- Social Media

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