The CBI officer probing the case against former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot, was transferred on Thursday -- a day after a case against them was filed. The agency's move had drawn criticism from Union minister Arun Jaitley, who called it "investigative adventurism" and said it was one of the reasons for the poor conviction rate in India. The Congress said the government is interfering again In the agency, which went after its "suited booted friends" this time.
Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, who was part of the Banking and Securities Fraud Cell, was transferred to the agency's Economic Offences branch in Ranchi on Thursday.
A day before, the agency had filed a case against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot.
They are accused of massive irregularities in obtaining a loan for the Videocon Group and channelling a part of it into a firm founded by Deepak Kochhar, which suggests a quid pro quo.
The agency said Mr Dhoot invested crores in Mr Kochhar's NuPower Renewables months after the firm got a huge loan from the ICICI.
Ms Kochhar was part of the team that decided to grant the Rs 3,250 crore loan to Videocon Group -- a legacy firm that had become a non-performing asset for the ICICI.
Ms Kochhar quit last October as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ICICI Bank after a whistleblower alleged that her family benefited from the dealings.
On Friday, Union minister Arun Jaitley, who is recuperating in the US after a surgery, attributed "poor" conviction rate in India to "adventurism and megalomania" which "overtakes investigators and professionalism takes a back seat".
"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?" the Finance Minister wrote in a blog post.
Congress, which alleges that the CBI is taking its orders from the central government, questioned why the minister was "perturbed" since it was the standard procedure of the CBI to treat "mistakes" as "corruption" and "carelessness" as "malice" to harass people.
The interference of the government in the CBI gets more brazen:
- CBI director removed in a midnight coup at the mere hint of the Rafale Scam investigation
- CBI officer transferred because he 'audaciously' went after the government's suited-booted friends.
- Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) January 27, 2019
Today in a tweet, Congress's Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "The interference of the government in the CBI gets more brazen: - CBI director removed in a midnight coup at the mere hint of the Rafale Scam investigation - CBI officer transferred because he 'audaciously' went after the government's suited-booted friends."