Recently ICICI, HDFC and Axis banks were accused of indulging in money laundering and benami transactions. Naturally, these banks denied the charges of money laundering and initiated their own investigation on this regard.
Meanwhile, the finance ministry and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also started an investigation against the accused banks. Although a senior official of the RBI tried to dilute the impact of recent allegations yet other senior officials were quick enough to discard that undesirable support in favour of the accused banks. In fact, they declared that RBI would take action against ICICI, HDFC and Axis banks for money laundering allegations.
We at Perry4Law Organisation and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) suggested that HDFC and other banks must follow sound e-discovery and cyber forensics procedure to avoid legal liability. The fact is that HDFC and other banks may inadvertently destroy the evidence when other investigation authorities of India would investigate this case.
Meanwhile the RBI released an interim report regarding the accusations of money laundering by these banks. The report has found some aberrations in the functioning of the accused banks. Remaining with little choice, the government declared that an action would be taken against ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank on the basis of the report of RBI. But before that the accused banks would be asked for an explanation in this regard.
An RBI official said that there are actionable points where RBI would need to take some action and consequently government would also need to address them. Actions would also be taken both in respect of systemic level and at the individual banks.