New Delhi, Aug 5 (): CBI director Sinha had been listening to phone conversations of Syndicate Bank CMD for six months before he pinned him down last Saturday when his go-between men took the Rs 50 lakh bribe money from a business firm executive.
The bank chairman’s close relatives were the receivers of the bribe. Though CBI knew that the CMD was taking bribes for loan sanctions, giving overdraft and more money to businesses that had not been paying back, it could not pinpoint the exact location.
The bank CMD like any other official on the take did not receive the bribes directly but instead used many routes to get it. CBI knew that it has to play a cat and mouse game with the bank chairman. CBI directors say that apex court order that struck down a clause in a law that governs CBI which says that government permission is needed to arrest an officer of a joint secretary rank and above.
Usually, when CBI moves the government for permission, the move is leaked out and the person covers up his tracks. In the past two years, the CBI action on big time officials was on the decrease due to the leakage of news. This time CBI did not need any permission to book high ranking officials.
CBI has a list of people who are classified as undesirable. These people act as middlemen for many multi-crore deals between private businesses and government. CBI accidentally stumbled upon Jain, the CMD who was networking with these men. Tapping the phone worked as the CMD was heard ordering his officials to not block the funds to two businesses and overruled objections.
CMD’s auditor and also a relative were caught receiving the bribe from two executives of the companies. Jain’s other deals in the bank are under scanner. Sinha says that the banking sector will now accuse him of creating a fear among bankers and points out that when the 2G and coal scam were exposed, officials said it has created a policy paralysis as bureaucrats are not signing orders.
CBI then busted Intelligence Bureau men on the Ishrat Jahan case and it was termed that nation’s security is at peril as IB sleuths have got cold feet on many cases. Sinha says that the huge pile of bad loans in public sector banks is due to corruption.