India

After FIR against Chanda Kochhar, Centre transfers officer probing ICICI-Videocon case

Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, SP of Banking and Securities Fraud Cell of CBI, who had signed the First Information Report against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in a fraud case, has been transferred

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NH Web Desk

Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, SP of Banking and Securities Fraud Cell of CBI, who had signed the First Information Report against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in a fraud case, has been transferred, according to news agency ANI.

Mishra, was transferred to CBI’s Economic Offences Branch in Ranchi according to a transfer order issued on January 23, 2019.

Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar and Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot were also named in the FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the ₹3,250 crore ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case.

Two days after the FIR, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a jibe at the central investigating agency, calling it an “investigative adventurism.”

The fraud case consists of allegations that on August 26, 2009, a loan of ₹ 300 crore was sanctioned to a Mumbai based private company in contravention of the rules and policy by the sanctioning committee.

The allegations further sate that Kochhar, then the MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, being the head of the sanctioning committee, misused her official position to sanction the loan in favour of the said Mumbai-based private company.

Two days after the FIR, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a jibe at the central investigating agency, calling it an “investigative adventurism.”

“Adventurism leads to media leaks, ruins reputations and eventually invites strictures and not convictions. In the process, the targets are ruined because of harassment, loss of reputation and financial costs. It costs people their career,” Finance Minister said in his Facebook post

“Professional investigation targets the real accused on the basis of actual and admissible evidences. It rules out fanciful presumptions. There is no personal malice or corruption. It targets the guilty and protects the innocent. It secures convictions and furthers public interest.”

“One of the reasons why our conviction rates are poor is that adventurism and megalomania overtakes our investigators and professionalism takes a back seat.”

News agency ANI also reported that Biswajit Das, SP, CBI Economic Offences Branch in Kolkata has replaced Mishra as the SP of Banking & Securities Fraud Cell of CBI, Delhi.

Congress has accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of pressuring the CBI to go slow in the case.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma said that Jaitley’s remarks amounted to “rebuking” and “threatening” the agency.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “His statement is extraordinary. It is a clear signal to the CBI to go slow. It also smacks of double standards which, of course, is not new for him. He called Vodafone (case) tax terrorism and then did exactly the same thing in regard to Cairn. He calls ICICI case investigative adventurism yet does exactly the same in regard to his predecessor.”

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