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Mumbai: An internal investigation by the country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), did not find any aberrations in the transactions linked to the bribery charges raised by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Shyamal Acharya, one of its deputy managing directors.

“The particular transaction was done in the ordinary course of business. We haven’t found anything special," said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairperson of SBI. The bank had begun an investigation on 25 November after CBI initiated a probe against Acharya. SBI has submitted the report to the finance ministry, Bhattacharya said.

A two-member panel, consisting of two senior managing directors, investigated the matter. Following the probe, SBI had also put Acharya on forced leave following the developments.

As part of the probe, CBI conducted raids simultaneously at three locations, including offices and residences of Acharya, former SBI executive K.K. Kumra and Piyoosh Goyal, founder of the Worlds Window Group, a New Delhi-based company.

According to CBI, Goyal had sought a loan of 400 crore from SBI of which 75 crore was approved. The agency has arrested Kumra in connection with the case.

It isn’t the first time that public sector bankers have faced bribery charges. In November 2010, CBI smashed a racket in which key executives of large financial firms, including banks and India’s largest insurer, sanctioned large corporate loans and disclosed confidential information in return for bribes.

The agency arrested five executives from Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), LIC Housing Finance Ltd, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Punjab National Bank. CBI also arrested three top executives at money market intermediary Money Matters Financial Services Ltd for allegedly bribing executives in finance companies to issue large loans to clients.

In a statement on 25 November, CBI had said that Goyal had paid Kumra 25 lakh for sanctioning the loan and that another 15 lakh was to be paid to Acharya, which was paid to him in kind, in the form of two wrist watches of 7.5 lakh each.

“After delivery of the said wrist watches, the adviser (former SBI official) was apprehended by CBI and the said two wrist watches were also recovered from the office cabin of the deputy managing director, State Bank of India," the agency had said.

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