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Bribery probe fells top State Bank official

Mumbai, Nov. 25: The State Bank of India (SBI) has asked Shyamal Acharya, its deputy managing director and group executive (mid-corporate), to proceed on leave after the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against him in connection with a bribery investigation.

The country’s largest bank has constituted an internal committee comprising two managing directors to investigate the matter. Although the SBI did not reveal the names, it is understood that the two members are Hemant G. Contractor, managing director and group executive for international banking, and A. Krishna Kumar, managing director and group executive for national banking.

“We have been advised by the CBI that Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director and group executive (mid corporate) of our bank is being investigated. Acharya has been asked to proceed on leave. The SBI is co-operating with the CBI. We stand committed to probity in our dealings and assure that the SBI will continue to hold highest standards of honesty and transparency in its operations,” the bank said.

Meanwhile, the CBI said it had conducted searches at Acharya’s Mumbai residence and claimed it had seized gold and jewellery worth Rs 67 lakh.

The CBI said a chairman of New Delhi-based company (Piyoosh Goyal) had allegedly applied for a Rs 400-crore corporate loan to the SBI, New Delhi. It said the adviser of the private company, who was earlier working as assistant general manager with the SBI, had approached Acharya to get the loan sanctioned.

The deputy MD allegedly influenced his office to process the application and got a loan worth Rs 75 crore sanctioned.

After the loan was sanctioned, the chairman of the private firm allegedly paid Rs 25 lakh to his adviser as reward. Goyal also gave him another Rs 15 lakh with instructions to give it to the deputy MD of the SBI as reward.

“After receipt of the said amount of Rs 15 lakh, the adviser allegedly purchased one Rolex and one Omega wrist watch worth Rs 7.75 lakh, visited the office of the deputy MD of the SBI at Mumbai and delivered the two wrist watches to him. After delivery of the said wrist watches, the adviser was apprehended by the CBI and the two wrist watches were also recovered from the office cabin of the deputy MD,” the CBI said.

“An estimated cash of Rs 15 lakh, jewellery and other incriminating documents were also recovered from the residence of the chairman of the private company, Piyoosh Goyal. Incriminating documents recovered during searches are being scrutinised for further investigation,” a CBI spokesperson said.

 
 
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