Former Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Indian Bank was convicted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases-handling Special Court in Chennai. On Monday, the court sentenced Gopalakrishnan to a three-year rigorous imprisonment. The 83-year old highflying banker of 80s and 90s is already convicted in three other cases for giving huge bank loans to many shell companies and cronies.
The Public Sector Indian Bank’s CMD Gopalakrishnan was well protected by several powerful politicians from Tamil Nadu and was the head of the bank till 1996 with seven extensions. From the early 80s, Gopalakrishnan was controlling the Public Sector Bank as its Executive Director and was very close to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
“The Special Judge for CBI Cases, Chennai has sentenced Sh. M. Gopalakrishnan, the then CMD, Indian Bank; Sh. A. V. Shanmugasundaram, the then Zonal Manager, Indian Bank, New Delhi & Satish Kumar, the then Assistant General Manager, Indian Bank, New Delhi, all to undergo three years Rigorous Imprisonment with fines from 30,000/- to Rs. 1.40 Lakh.
“CBI had registered a case on the allegations that A.V. Shanmugasundaram, then Zonal Manager, Indian Bank, New Delhi; Satish Kumar, then Assistant General Manager, Indian Bank, New Delhi and M. Gopalakrishnan, then CMD, Indian Bank conspired during the period of August 1989 & August 1993 with Director of M/s. Scantel Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Allied Equipments & Services Ltd., New Delhi. In pursuance of the said conspiracy, the accused released Rs.18.08 crore as credit facility to the said Director of a private firm who cheated the Indian Bank,” said CBI in a statement after the trial court’s judgment.
Indian Bank scam and Gopalakrishnan’s illegalities were exposed after Subramanian Swamy approached courts against the non-action of CBI in mid-90s. In the mid-90s, Indian Bank almost went into a crisis due to the thousands of bad loans given under the direction of CMD Gopalakrishnan. It is a known secret that Gopalakrishnan was directing bank officials to grant loans illegally to shell companies and benami companies under the recommendations of powerful politicians from Tamil Nadu.
Now Gopalakrishnan, the executor of his political masters’ directions is caught by the long arm of law. He is out on bail and physically unwell due to age-related issues. He comes to the CBI Court with the assistance of aides. More than 10 cases are pending against him including appeals against convictions. His political masters escaped from Indian Bank looting and still give sermons to the society. They all tried to delay and stretch the case of the pliable tainted banker. It is a matter of fact that Gopalakrishnan’s cases were conveniently put on regular court to delay the judicial process and all political masters played their own part by not constituting a daily trial fast-track court. The delay in judicial process is the best way to evade public limelight.