Questioning the Central Bureau of Investigation in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday blasted the CBI for naming the "who's who of the banking industry" without concentrating on the "bull's eye".
"There is a fundamental difference between investigative adventurism and professional investigation," Jaitley, who is undergoing medical treatment in the US, wrote in a Facebook blog post blaming the CBI for casting the net too wide.
On Thursday, the CBI lodged an FIR against former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and industrialist V.N. Dhoot in a Rs 3,250-crore loan involving the Videocon Group and the ICICI Bank.
The investigating agency said it will also probe several former and current senior executives of the bank, including current Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank Sandeep Bakshi and current chief of New Development Bank of BRICS K.V. Kamath.
"Sitting thousands of kilometers away, when I read the list of potential targets in the ICICI case, the thought that crossed my mind was again the same - instead of focusing primarily on the target, is a journey to nowhere (or everywhere) being undertaken? If we include the entire who's who of the banking Industry - with or without evidence - what cause are we serving or actually hurting," the former Finance Minister said.
Jaitley said while adventurism leads to media leaks, ruins reputations and eventually invites strictures and not convictions, professional investigation targets the real accused on the basis of actual and admissible evidences and rules out fanciful presumptions.
"One of the reasons why our conviction rates are poor is that adventurism and megalomania overtake our investigators and professionalism takes the back seat," he wrote.
Other members of the ICICI Bank credit committee who the CBI may investigate include CEO of Standard Chartered Bank in India Zarin Daruwala, Tata Capital CEO Rajiv Sabharwal, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO N.S. Kannan and Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Chairman Sonjoy Bhattacharya.
"My advice to our investigators - Follow the advice of Arjun in the Mahabharat - Just concentrate on the bull's eye," the Minister said.