The Punjab National Bank related mega scam has taken the lid off the mysteries shrouding some major nationalized banks in the country. The skeletons are tumbling out of the cupboard one after another. More and more people are getting exposed for their underhand bank dealings. It has come to our notice that the Central Vigilance Commission has been waiting since a long time for formal permission by some banks to prosecute some of the high profile officers of the banks for alleged financial irregularities.
It will be remembered that under rules permission sought by the Central Vigilance Commission for prosecuting an officer alleged to have committed grave irregularity has to be accorded within four months. However, 23 cases, involving 39 officials, including IAS and senior staff of banks, are pending sanction from authorities for prosecution. This is despite several reminders sent by the CVC to the banks concerned to expedite permission but without any positive result. Among these four are related to banks — two of the State Bank of India (SBI) and one each of UCO Bank and PNB. There are cases against other functionaries in which CBI has conducted enquiry. Why are not bank authorities conveying permission of prosecuting the alleged persons is a mystery. If there is nothing against them, the alleged persons should volunteer for any enquiry and probing. Obviously, there is something fishy and they are trying to avoid prosecution. This is breach of public trust. If a bank loses the trust of the customers, it is undone. Perhaps the bank authorities are aware of this foregone conclusion. The public is already become sceptical about the fair dealings of banks including prestigious banks like PNB, SBI and UCO. Therefore, we can say that with the unveiling of the fraud in PNB, entire banking service in the country has come under public censure.
The nationalized banks should immediately take steps to restore their credibility and reputation. At least in the light of the recent bank scam they should waist not a day in recovering their credibility at any cost. It is also important that the Government and Finance Ministry of the Union Government should unearth fully the bank mafia in the country and take all counter measures to check possibility of frauds in the banks.