On fraudulent behavior and scams

Corrupt staff and insiders helping fraudsters …

Accepting fraudulent behaviour and corruption as a way of life is one of the worst degradations of personal and societal ethics and norms. It not only plunges the concerned nation, organization, individual engaged in both giving and receiving illegal gratification (either in the form of cash or kind or power) to the lowest depths, but also is a terrible example for future generations.

If one looks at the mega scams and frauds that have been brought to light in recent times in India, each one surpasses the other in terms of scale – the Kingfisher -Vijay Mallya scam, the Nirav Modi-PNB scam, the telecom (2G) allotment irregularities, the coal scam, the fodder scam, the Aircel-Maxis dealings, the illegal graft for even getting appointments with top ministers for approvals such as foreign investments into India, etc. And the list seems to be growing by the day that people treat these news as yet another incident and move on. (Simply because people do not see it coming to a logical conclusion within a reasonable time frame.)

Take for instance the scam-hit Punjab National Bank. It is among some government organisations which ignored the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) advice to act against its allegedly corrupt staff, the anti-corruption body has stated in a new report. This non-compliance to the Commission’s advice was tabled in the Indian Parliament recently.

This non-compliance report comes at a time when the said Bank is facing multiple agency probe in over Rs 13,000 crore loan fraud allegedly committed by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.

For securing the credit limit and term loans, it has been observed that the bank accepted two properties situated in Delhi “without ensuring genuineness of property papers as well as its geographical location”. The Commission advised initiation of major penalty proceedings against the senior manager of the Bank. Out of 14 charges, the inquiry officer has held only two charges as proved and one charge as partly proved.

“On conclusion of inquiry, the disciplinary authority proposed to levy a minor penalty of ‘censure’,” the CVC said in its report.

This nonchalant way of dealing with major financial crimes and covering it up with minor disciplinary actions and penalties did not stop the loot by the borrowers and corrupt staff of the Bank.

Justice delayed is justice denied and unless there is a fast tracking of investigations and bringing to book the fraudsters and exposing and shaming them, nobody is going to sit up and take notice of the news and exposures that are being hammered day in and day out across television channels and social media.

  1. Company heads at the time of such scams should become personally liable for scams both in civil and criminal law. Then there will be a steep drop in such scams.

  2. Thanks Hari – that is a valuable suggestion. I think a step in that direction is what the recent amendment to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency law brought in by the present Modi Government aims at. CBI has already started proceedings to attach crores worth of personal properties (where ever located) of the jewellery scamsters Nirav and Choksi.

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