Friday, April 15, 2016

Convicted Ex-CMD Indian Bank Gets Bail - No Deterrence to Stop Siphoning Our Money?

Last week M Gopalkrishnan, former CMD and Chairman Indian Bank, was convicted and sentenced to two years RI in a case of cheating the bank. Investigators found that Gopalkrishnan defrauded the bank Rs 5.5 crores 20 years back. Gopalkrishnan was also slapped with fine of Rs 8000/- .Few points which need our attention are as under:-
  1. Rs 5.5 crores in 1990 means Rs 33 crores as of today, if we use official cost inflation index. That means, for defrauding the bank of Rs 33 crores he has been penalized Rs 8000/-. Rest of the money he and his family can enjoy splurging.
  2. Gopalkrishnan was known to be liberal with granting loans worth Rs 1300/- crores during his tenure. There are about 20 cases registered against him. In a related case he was convicted in 2013 for defrauding the bank of Rs  6.5 crores..
  3. This ex-CMD would sanction huge loans without adequate collaterals and later waive off part of the loan.
  4. This case to culminate into sentence, it has taken 18 years. And after the sentence, this 80 year old banker gets bail and walks away free. He will spend next 20 years in exercising his judicial options of appealing to higher courts. By then nature will take charge.
Now the questions that should bother all of us are the following :-
  1. Why single out Indian Bank and its former CMD? This strategy of looting the tax payer has been employed by all banks - evident from huge NPAs  in their books. In fact if we take a peek at the books of bigger banks like SBI, PNB  et al, crime of Gopalkrishnan will pale into insignificance. The story of each case of NPA is exactly the same - huge loan disbursed to an entity with paltry secured collaterals to cover it. Then after obvious default, taking haircuts in the name of restructuring of loans. No wonder we have NPAs amounting to Rs 4 lakh crores in the books of PSU banks. Another Rs 4 lakh crores are stressed assets which will be declared NPA shortly. So it is actually Rs 8 lakh crores of bad loans..Money that is rightfully ours is sunk as bad loans - Crying Shame!!
  2. If after 20 years judgement comes from  lower courts, then it will take another 20 years for appeals in higher courts. In other words these white collared criminals cannot be put away in jails ever. And they know it!. All they pay as penalty is Rs 8000/- for looting Rs 33 crores. No wonder every bank MD  is resorting to this very simple plan of making crores. It must be an  SOP to be handed over to successors.
  3. From time to time banks' books are cleaned up of NPA by provisioning equivalent amount under  garb of recapitalizing the banks. This recapitalizing process of banks with our money will be set into motion shortly by RBI. Point is, if that is the way things have been functioning and will continue to function in the largest democracy of the world, then so be it. Question is - why should you waste more tax payers' money by way of  investigation, court proceedings and establishment cost just to recover Rs 8000/- against loss to state of Rs 33 crores? Stop being hypocritical, stop all investigations into NPAs!!!!!