MUMBAI: CBI director Anil Sinha on Wednesday blamed the lack of accountability in banks for anguish among the public that the rich are able to avoid consequences of fraud while ordinary citizens are promptly brought to book.
Sinha was addressing the CBI’s seventh conference on ‘Combating Financial Crimes’, here.
To underpin his point, Sinha cited the example of Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher. The CBI had registered a case of cheating and fraud against Kingfisher and its erstwhile management for allegations of defrauding banks of nearly Rs 7,000 crore.
“This case was registered in July 2015, but loans/advances were taken during 2004 to 2012. However, despite the CBI’s repeated requests, the banks did not file a complaint. The CBI had to register a case on our own,” Sinha said. “The...undue delay in...reporting such a fraud has jeopardised the cause of justice to the offenders’ benefit giving them opportunity to divert funds and destroy evidence,” he stressed.
The CBI chief said the agency was investigating ponzi schemes of over Rs 1.20 lakh crore, and had investigated 171 cases of bank frauds in 2015 involving funds of Rs 20,646 crore. “Trends in the banking sector have indicated an alarming increase in levels of NPA (non-performing assets) as also funds involved in frauds. During the past six years, gross NPAs in PSBs have gone up from Rs 44,957 crore in 2009 to Rs 3 lakh crore in 2015. Gross NPAs as percentage of gross advances has also gone up from 2 per cent in 2009 to 4.36 per cent in 2015,” he said.