While the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged bribery charge against one of State Bank of India's (SBI) eight deputy managing directors (DMD) gathers steam, India’s largest bank has started its own internal investigation against Shyamal Acharya and also asked him to go on leave. Shyamal Acharya is the DMD for the mid-corporate segment and has handled many prominent accounts including Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
A two-member committee comprising SBI’s two senior-most managing directors — Hemant Contractor and A Krishnakumar — has been asked to conduct an internal investigation.
Though unrelated, the move comes after RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty has made several presentations on how PSU bankers are not doing their jobs well. According to Chakrabarty, while the PSU banks’ share of loans remained at a little over 75% between March 2009 and September 2013, their share of bad loans rose from 64.5% to 86.1%. RBI is also in the process of finalising ways to incentivise bankers for recovering bad loans while also penalising them for their role in ballooning NPAs.
The CBI conducted simultaneous raids at various locations including offices and residences of Shyamal Acharya. According to CBI officials, Piyoosh Goyal, founder of the Delhi-based Worlds Window Group sought a loan of Rs 400 crore. The company’s advisor, former SBI official KK Kumra, in turn, got in touch with Shyamal Acharya who allegedly influenced his juniors and got Rs 75 crore sanctioned to begin with. After the loan was cleared, Goyal is alleged to have paid Rs 25 lakh to Kumra as reward, and another Rs 15 lakh to give to Shyamal Acharya. After Kumra, a former assistant general manager at SBI, got the Rs 15 lakh, he is alleged to have bought an Omega and a Rolex for Rs 7.75 lakh and handed them over to Shyamal Acharya. Both watches were seized from Shyamal Acharya's cabin and Kumra was arrested.
“SBI is cooperating with the CBI... We stand committed to probity in our dealings and assure that SBI will continue to hold highest standards of honesty and transparency in its operations,” the bank said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Mayank Misra, senior HR manager at Worlds Window Group said: “We have not paid any bribe to anybody to secure any facility. We are currently seeking legal advice and at an appropriate time, our lawyers will clarify our position.”
According to the CBI, Rs 7 lakh of cash was found in Shyamal Acharya's residence, along with a locker key and several ‘incriminating documents’. Gold and jewelry worth Rs 67 lakh have been seized from Shyamal Acharya's residence as well as papers relating to various fixed deposits. Kumra was produced before a special judge on Monday and has been remanded to police custody till Wednesday.