In a high-profile arrest Saturday, the CBI nabbed Syndicate Bank's chairman-cum-managing director SK Jain for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 50 lakh to increase the credit limit of a private company.
The agency also arrested 11 others, including the CMD of Prakash Industries, a Delhi-based steel company. This firm was booked by the CBI in March this year in it coal-block allocation scam probe for alleged misrepresentation.
Jain's arrest, from a Mumbai five-star hotel, comes after a six-month probe, which was closely monitored by CBI director Ranjit Sinha. "This is the first time the CBI has arrested an accused of CMD rank. The probe exposes the ease with which banks' money that belongs to honest taxpayers is siphoned off." Sinha said, adding that the agency has enough "technical evidence, including incriminating telephonic intercepts and documentary evidence… to expose corruption at high places in the banking sector."
During its investigation, the agency kept a discreet watch on Jain and a few other people including alleged middleman Pawan Bansal. Jain allegedly "took the bribe in lieu of enhancing credit limits of a private firm as it had defaulted on the payment of loan instalments amounting to crores to the bank," said a CBI source. "Jain used to negotiate for not declaring bad loans as non-performing assets to save defaulters from adverse action such as attachment of properties," added the source.
The CBI also raided Jain's home in Bangalore where it seized Rs. 21 lakh in cash, gold worth Rs. 1.68 crore and fixed deposit receipts of Rs. 63 lakh.
Apart from Jain and Bansal, a top official of Delhi-based Bhushan Steel was also arrested.
The agency has booked the 12 in two cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy.