By Prarthana Mitra
The arrest of Bank of Maharashtra Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ravindra Marathe on Wednesday has left suspicions of foul play in its wake, at least among leading bankers following the development closely.
The Economic Offences Wing of Pune police charged six persons in a collusion case lodged against city-based real estate developer D S Kulkarni and his wife. Many have hinted at political reasons behind the move chiefly because Bank of Maharashtra was not the only bank that lent funds to Kulkarni.
Here’s what happened
On June 20, Marathe and his colleagues at the Bank, including Executive Director Rajendra Gupta, Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande, and former CMD Sushil Muhnot, were booked for colluding with DSK Developers (DSKDL). Expected to held in custody till June 27, the accused were charged with diverting money and committing fraud against shareholders, in a total scam worth Rs 20.43 billion. According to the charge sheet, they floated nine different firms to syphon funds from 33,000 investors and fixed deposit account holders.
Executive director A C Rout reportedly addressed the shareholders’ concerns, saying that the bank’s present outstanding exposure to the group is Rs 945.2 million, which is fully secured. The bank subsequently declared DSKDL and its promoters as wilful defaulters, greenlighting due recovery processes.
Why you should care
However, many bankers have spoken out about the circumstances leading up to his arrest. “More and more bankers come under investigative net without any proof of malfeasance,” the chief executive of a leading bank told Economic Times earlier on Thursday. All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General-Secretary C H Venkatachalam in a statement declared that since the banks are responsible for DSK’s fraudulent actions, arresting them at this stage in connection with this is unwarranted.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius