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Why did officials not smell rat?

delhi Updated: Jan 08, 2011 00:23 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Hindustan Times
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Having registered a first information report (FIR) against 11 senior Citibank officials, including global CEO Vikram S Pandit, on the complaint of a businessman who had lost about Rs 32 crore in the scam, the police have approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and have sought instructions and banking guidelines to see whether there were any procedural lapses on the part of the bank.

The police also aim at establishing possible criminal negligence of its officials who had failed to spot abnormal deposits in the accounts related to the prime accused, Shivraj Puri.

Similar instructions and banking guidelines have also been sought from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) whose three teams are investigating the case separately in Gurgaon, Delhi and Mumbai.

Though no more arrest has been made since January 3 when the police have registered a case of cheating and falsification of the documents, investigating officials are in regular touch with Citibank officials, sources said.

According to sources, the police want to establish criminal negligence of the Citibank officials before going for any possible arrest.

Gurgaon police commissioner SS Deswal has already clarified that none of the top brass of the Citibank, including the global and Indian CEO, would be questioned as there was no possibility of their involvement or knowledge of the misdeeds of Shivraj Puri.

Police officials, who are being assisted by a CA firm, a two-member SEBI team and cyber crime experts, first wish to establish whether the Citibank officials missed on abnormal transactions and worked out of the framework of the banking guidelines which could amount to criminal negligence?

The instructions and banking guidelines are issued to banks from time to time and CA firms and other financial experts have access to them.

But the same had been sought from the RBI and SEBI officially and those would be crosschecked with regard to Citibank functioning, sources said.