A total of 167 bank officials have been suspended and 41 transferred for their involvement in irregularities relating to demonetisation, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

“As part of their staff accountability mechanisms, on the basis of prima facie involvement in irregularities relating to demonetisation, Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are so far reported to have placed 156 officials under suspension and to have transferred 41 officials,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here.

“In respect of private sector banks, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that 11 employees have been placed under suspension where bank employees have been found involved in ‘irregular exchange of transaction’ of Specified Bank Note (SBN) during the phase of demonetisation,” Gangwar said.

The RBI has further informed that the banks have initiated internal investigation and complaints have been filed with the police or the CBI.

Public ector banks are also reported to have filed 26 cases with the police or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wherever criminal cases are involved.

The Enforcement Directorate has intimated that bank employees have been found indulging in money laundering and other unfair practices during the phase of demonetisation and that the investigations have been initiated under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The act provides for attachment of property as well as prosecution of the accused involved in money laundering.

“Whenever a complaint against a bank official is received and any irregularities found, the banks initiate action as per their extant rules and commensurate punishment is awarded to the delinquent employees based on the seriousness of the wrongdoings as per bank’s disciplinary rules,” the minister said.

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