- Arun Jaitley blamed "adventurism" for "poor" conviction rate in India
- His comments came after KV Kamath was named in ICICI-Videocon case
- Mr Jaitley is recuperating after a surgery in a hospital in the US
The Central Bureau of Investigation's FIR in the ICICI-Videocon loan case has not only shaken the banking industry but has also attracted a sharp rebuke from Union Minister Arun Jaitley who in a blog of Friday used strong language against the country's top investigation agency. Mr Jaitley called the CBI's move "investigative adventurism."
The CBI in its FIR had said the loans to Videocon had been sanctioned in violation of the bank's credit policy and the role of these senior officers may also be investigated. In a blog post, Mr Jaitley said said one of the reasons for "poor" conviction rate in India is that "adventurism and megalomania" overtakes investigators and professionalism takes a back seat.
The blog by the top minister, who is recuperating from an illness in the US, adds, "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?"
Mr Jaitley also says, "If we include the entire who's who of the Banking Industry - with or without evidence - what cause are we serving or actually hurting?"
The CBI in its FIR had named top faces of industry which includes KV Kamath, Sandeep Bakshi, Sonjoy Chatterjee, N S Kannan, Zarin Daruwala and Rajiv Sabharwal among others. K V Kamath is the currently chief of New Development Bank of BRICS while Sandeep Bakhshi is currently MD & CEO at ICICI Bank. Sonjoy Chatterjee is currently CEO of Goldman Sachs India while N S Kannan is currently MD & CEO of ICICI Prudential. Zarin Daruwala heads Standard Chartered Bank in India while Rajiv Sabharwal who left ICICI in 2017 is the current Chief Executive Officer of Tata Capital. NDTV tried reaching out to the individuals named in the FIR but no one has responded so far.
While the CBI has often been criticized by the Opposition and even the Supreme Court this time the criticism comes from the government.