‘Adventurism taking over professionalism’: Arun Jaitley targets CBI over ICICI probe
Union minister Arun Jaitley on Friday expressed his anguish over “investigative adventurism” of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the ICICI case where the investigative agency named several prominent bankers as “potential targets” while registering an FIR against former ICICI Bank chief executive officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in term loans sanctioned to the Videocon Group companies which resulted in loss of ₹1,730 crore to the bank.
“One of the reasons why our conviction rates are poor is that adventurism and megalomania overtakes our investigators and professionalism takes a back seat,” he said in a Facebook post from the US, which he is visiting for medical treatment.
He advised investigators to follow the advice of Arjun in the Mahabharat and concentrate on the bulls eye. “Sitting thousands of kilometers away, when I read the list of potential targets in the ICICI case, the thought that crossed my mind was again the same – Instead of focusing primarily on the target, is a journey to nowhere (or everywhere) being undertaken? If we include the entire who’s who of the Banking Industry – with or without evidence – what cause are we serving or actually hurting,” he said.
His reference is to all the names mentioned in the FIR filed by CBI, albeit not as accused but as people worth investigating in the case.
The agency has also recommended that the role of senior officials, Sandeep Bakshi, K Ramkumar, Sonjoy Chatterjee, Zarin Daruwala, Rajiv Sabharwal, KV Kamath and Homi Khusrokhan, be looked into.
Kochhar resigned from the bank last October.
Daruwala left the bank and is now the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank’s India operations. Kamath is now head of the BRICS bank. Chatterjee too has left the bank and is the CEO of Goldman Sachs India. Khusrokhan is an independent director on the board of the bank. Sabharwal has also left the bank and is now the CEO of Tata Capital.