Case of ICICI Bank: Corporate whistleblowers are India’s newest heroes

Nice piece by Sudeep Khanna:

From Satyendra Dubey to Arvind Gupta, a few brave men and women have over the years striven to expose the stinking caverns within Indian companies even as agencies and executives charged with that task failed to do their duty. Dubey was an Indian Engineering Services officer working as a project director for the National Highways Authority of India in which capacity he exposed serious financial irregularities by contractors of the project. For that brave deed he had to pay with his life, murdered in cold blood on the night of 27 November 2003.

His sacrifice though was not in vain as the uproar over his death led to the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers Resolution (PIDPIR) in 2004. Gupta, in the news now, blew the lid on the alleged loan fraud and the quid-pro-quo between Chanda Kochhar and her family and the Videocon group, a case which is now being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Dubey and Gupta and a handful of others like them, given the honorific label of whistleblowers, are only now coming out of the shadows and serving as models for others to emulate. Figures show that the number of complaints Indian companies are receiving from whistleblowers is increasing at a rapid pace.

Whether it is in the infamous Satyam fraud in 2009 or in the more recent case of the Zee group, it has been a missive from a whistleblower that has precipitated the crisis.

We clearly need to protect whisteblowers across spectrums.


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