Monday February 26, 2018
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CBI moves SC, seeks to question Himachal CM

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New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday moved the Supreme Court to challenge a Himachal Pradesh High Court order restraining it from interrogating Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife in an alleged disproportionate assets case and sought their custodial interrogation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also filed a petition in the apex court to seek transfer of the case against Virbhadra Singh from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi, where a similar case is pending against him.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said the plea would be heard on the opening day after the Dussehra holidays. Additional Solicitor General PS Patwalia mentioned the matter before the court in the morning and sought early hearing. The high court order of October 1 has virtually stalled the investigation process, he said.

The high court has asked the CBI not to arrest the chief minister and his wife in the disproportionate assets case. However, it directed the central agency to go ahead with the investigation.

“…by way of abundant precaution, it’s made clear that the petitioners shall not be arrested,” a division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Singh Thakur said while hearing a writ petition filed by Virbhadra Singh.

In his petition, Virbhadra Singh said the CBI’s action of raiding his residences on September 26 in Delhi and Shimla was mala fide and political vendetta.

Regarding interrogation of Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh following the registration of the case on September 23, the high court said: “It’s also made clear that as and when the dossier is complete, it shall be open for the CBI to approach this court for permission to interrogate the petitioners in accordance with law.”

It clarified to the CBI that it shall not file a challan without the express leave of this court. “These observations shall have no bearing on whether a case in pending, including before the Delhi High Court.”

The next date of hearing in the high court is November 18.

The CBI raided Virbhadra Singh’s private residence, Holly Lodge, in Jakhu Hills in Shimla, on September 26. At that time, the chief minister and his family were busy with his daughter’s marriage.

The case was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and an associate, Chunni Lal.

“The FIR was the outcome of a preliminary inquiry which revealed that Virbhadra Singh, while serving (as union minister) during 2009-2012, had allegedly accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore in his name and in the name of his family members which were found to be disproportionate to his known sources of income,” a CBI official said.

(IANS)

 

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Three Fresh Cases Of Banking Fraud Reported

Three fresh incidences of financial fraud have come to light as the CBI filed cases against a jeweler, a businessman and a public servant on complaints by three different banks earlier this week

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The PNB approached the CBI for a second time on Wednesday against one of its branch managers at its Barmer office in Rajasthan. Pixabay

Three fresh incidences of financial fraud have come to light as the CBI filed cases against a jeweler, a businessman and a public servant on complaints by three different banks earlier this week, an official said on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against Delhi’s Karol Bagh-based diamond jewelry exporting firm Dwarka Das Seth International for an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 389.85 crore involving the Oriental Bank of Commerce.

The CBI on Wednesday filed a case against businessman Amit Singla and others on a complaint of the Bank of Maharashtra for a loan through forged documents and its criminal misappropriation and use.

ALSO READ: Bank of Baroda officials under CBI custody in Forex case

The same day, the agency also filed a case against Inder Chand Chundawat, then Senior Branch Manager in the Punjab National Bank (PNB)’s Barmer office in Rajasthan, for abuse of his official position.

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Earlier, cases of major financial frauds involving Rs 11,300 crore by diamantaire Nirav Modi and Rs 3,695 crore by Rotomac owner Vikram Kothari surfaced, in which the CBI has filed cases and made several arrests. Pixabay

 

After the PNB and the Bank of Baroda filed cases against Nirav Modi and Rotomac Global, the Oriental Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Maharashtra and Barmer office of the PNB rushed to the CBI as well with their complaints of fraud, leading to the agency filing three separate cases.

The Oriental Bank of Commerce has alleged that it was defrauded by Delhi jeweler Dwarka Das Seth International and its owner Sabhya Seth. The loans turned into non-performing assets (NPAs) way back in 2014, but the bank approached the agency on August 16 last year, after the company had folded up and Seth fled the country.

The CBI has started tracing India-based directors and partners of the company.

The Oriental Bank of Commerce complaint has alleged that the Dwarka Das Seth International took loans by way of letters of credit and other such credit facilities for gold jewelry export/import between 2007 and 2012 but failed to pay back.

A probe by the bank found that the company had indulged in round-tripping of funds through fictitious companies abroad and had utilized funds by discounting bills based on the letters of credit of foreign banks, which were either non-existent or had negative ratings.

ALSO READ: Punjab National Bank detects $1.8 bn fraud at a Mumbai branch, Links to Nirav Modi

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“We feel that Sabhya Seth of Dwarka Das Seth International Pvt Ltd had orchestrated an elaborate plan to dupe the bank,” the bank said in its complaint. Pixabay

Similarly, the Bank of Maharashtra has approached the CBI to lodge a loan default complaint against a Delhi businessman Amit Singla. The loan had turned into an NPA in 2013 and the bank has even sold a property kept as collateral to recover its dues, sources said.

The Bank of Maharashtra’s FIR names Singla, the proprietor of Delhi-based Ashirwad Chain Co, loan guarantor Roshan Lal Bhalotia, property valuation firm Tech Mach International and unknown officials of the bank.

It is alleged that Singla and his company took loans of Rs 9.5 crore through cash credit facility from the bank between 2010 and 2012. The accused allegedly submitted three properties in Delhi and Haryana as collaterals. The properties, at the time of taking the loan, were valued at over Rs 18 crore by Tech Mach International.

But, after the loans turned into NPAs, the actual market value of the properties was found to be only Rs 2.5 crore. One of the properties, a double-storied house owned by Roshan Lal in Rohtak, Haryana, was valued at Rs 4.85 crore while sanctioning the loan. When the bank sold it off to recover its dues, it fetched only Rs 73 lakh.

ALSO READ: PNB Fraud Fully Exposes the Malicious Intent Of Nirav Modi

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Similarly, a commercial property owned by the accused at Chandni Chowk in Delhi was valued by Tech Mach at the time of disbursal of the loans at Rs 4.95 crore, but it was actually worth Rs 31 lakh only.

Tech Mach was later removed from the panel of values by the bank.

In the complaint, the Bank of Maharashtra said: “The overvalued valuations were deliberately given in connivance with the borrowers and the guarantors … to fraudulently induce the bank to finance the borrower.”

The FIR also alleged that Singla had submitted inflated stock audit reports and balance sheets, apart from diverting the loans to sister concerns.

According to the complaint, the branch manager had defrauded the bank of over Rs 2 crore in 2011 and the bank had even suspended the official following an internal inquiry. (IANS)