The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Friday joined industrialists and trade bodies in expressing concern over action against reputed individuals, saying that "extreme caution" should be exercised by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ensure that there is no atmosphere of fear created.
Without referring to the Kumar Mangalam Birla case, CII President Kris Gopalakrishnan issued a nuanced statement upholding CBI's right to proceed against any person to ensure law of the land is preserved.
"While it is absolutely within CBI's rights to proceed against any person to ensure that the law of the land is preserved irrespective of the stature of the person, it is desirable to ensure that all facts of the case are laid upfront before proceeding against respected and reputed individuals," he said.
Gopalakrishnan said that reputations of institutions and individuals take years to build and therefore, extreme caution needs to be exercised before any action is taken, which jeopardises reputation that institutions and individuals build for themselves.
"Every effort should be made to ensure that there is no atmosphere of fear created, when it comes to decision making. Swift decisions and transparent policy environment are pre requisites of an enabling business climate. This is best done if the Government and Industry work together," he said.
Industry should not feel discouraged to interface with senior government functionaries on issues that need attention of the government, Gopalakrishnan said.
The CBI on Tuesday filed a case against Aditya Birla Group Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla, in the allocation of a coal block in Odisha in 2005.
The investigation agency's action met with criticism from India Inc which said that businessmen cannot be made scapegoats on the basis of mere suspicion as such incidents would further widen the government-industry trust deficit.
The action against $40-billion Aditya Birla Group Chairman has also come in for some criticism by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot.