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More bankers express concern over ex-SBI chairman’s arrest


Mumbai: The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has sought an appointment with Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and has written to the chief secretary of the state, expressing concern ov-er the police action in arresting a former SBI chairman without following due process. On a day when Pratip Chaudhuri, former SBI chairman, was denied bail by a court in Rajasthan, more bankers expressed concern over the summary arrest of the senior banker. The IBA has said that it is going to seek an appointment with the Rajasthan chief minister it is also going to write to the chief secretary. The FIR had already been quashed by the Supreme Court. “I do not know the facts of the case but, based on what I have read, we really need to have a criminal justice system which protects bona fide actions by bankers for recovery of their money,” said veteran banker Uday Kotak. He added that there has to be a method by which that action has to be protected. Describing the arrest as an unfortunate incident, Union Bank MD & CEO Rajkiran Rai said that authorities must understand the banker’s perspective before taking such drastic action and it was not good that an arrest was done without inquiry. “It disturbs us that the former SBI chairman has got arrested for a decision that does not come to the chairman level,” said Rai. In an interview to CNBC, former chief of Punjab National Bank and IBA secretary Sunil Mehta said that the action will play a negative role on the morale of bankers as banks have to take many such decisions. He said that for every decision with respect to disposal of an NPA, there is a due process that is documented. He added that even Chaudhuri’s joining the board of the ARC would have been subsequent to a due process. Alchemist ARC has described the arrest as bizarre and said that Supreme Court had earlier quashed an FIR aimed at stymieing the sale of the hotel property.


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