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multi-crore fraud
PNB chief manager among five let off
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
A year after the CBI arrested officials of the Punjab National Bank, including its chief manager for misappropriation of funds involving crores of rupees, the CBI Court today discharged all five accused in the case.

The five were discharged from the case after the charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery against the accused were found untenable by the court. The court discharged former Chief Manager SM Mahajan and other accused, including Rakesh Kumar, SB Gupta, Dheeraj Singh and Mamta Chaudhary.

In February 2011, the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch had registered a case of misappropriation of funds against bank officials, including former PNB chief manager S M Mahajan, alleging that during 2005-09, he entered into a criminal conspiracy with Dhiraj Singh - proprietor of DS Industries and his wife Mamta Choudhary - proprietor of Asia Himalaya Overseas, Baddi. The accused were charged with cheating, forgery and dishonestly misappropriating public funds under their control as public servants.

The defence counsel stated before the court that the CBI’s charges were baseless as there was no violation of any bank procedure and as per superior authorities all loans were sanctioned. There was no concealment of any fact.

As per the CBI’s case, Choudhary and Singh obtained a packing credit of Rs 6.72 crore and term loan of Rs. 24.66 lakh in the name of Asia Himalaya Overseas. Later, Rs 3.38 crore was diverted to their family business concern - Himland Real Estates Pvt Ltd.

It was alleged that Singh, in connivance with bank officials, further got a loan sanctioned in the name of DS Industries to repay Asia Himalaya Overseas’ loan. Ignoring that Asia Himalaya Overseas’ account had become irregular, Mahajan - the then chief manager of PNB - sanctioned Rs 2.18 crore as cash credit and Rs 1.77 crore as term loan in the name of DS Industries against the properties mortgaged to the bank. He also allegedly ignored the fact that the accused borrower was in the caution list of RBI.

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High Court chides Admn
Holds the latter at fault for stonewalling orders on parking issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Acting on a petition on traffic de-congestion, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today held the UT Administration at fault for stonewalling the High Court's directions on parking issues in Chandigarh. The Bench minced no words to say there was a need to change the mindset of the officials who were just not open to new ideas. During the resumed hearing of the case, the counsel for the municipal corporation informed the Bench that the civic body had planned to install electronic gates at the entry and exit points of each parking lot.

As per plans, after the installation of the gates, parking fee will be charged on an hourly basis. The corporation also expressed its inability in converting the two parking zones in Sector 17 into no vehicle zones as suggested by the Bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Tewari. The two parking lots had a capacity to handle about 2,000 vehicles and it was not possible to adjust such a large number of vehicles in any other lot. The argument failed to find favour with the Bench. The Judges verbally observed that the suggestions were not implemented on presumption that people or shopkeepers might not like the change.

The Bench questioned the hesitation in the mind of the authorities to take it as a pilot project. The Bench even suggested some sites, including the one adjoining the Reserve Bank building, which could be used as an alternative parking lot.

The Bench added that the hearing in the case was going on for the past several months, but suggestion remained unimplemented.

UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal said it would be wrong to say that the Administration was taking the case lightly. The amicus curies in the case, however, suggested some alternative parking places that could be used. After hearing the arguments, the Bench asked the amicus curie to go to Sector 17 along with the corporation authorities for discussing the issues and the problems on the spot. The Bench also fixed May 18 as the next date of hearing.

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denial of parole
Notice to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today put Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on notice after taking cognisance of the deplorable condition of jail convicts and denial of paroles to them.

The notices came on a public interest litigation arising out of a suo motu notice taken by Justice SS Saron of the High Court. The Judge had received letters from convicts bringing to the fore the maltreatment inside the jail.

A convict has stated that he was in jail for the past more than 10 years and was suffering from 70 per cent disability and he be released from the jail after granting special remission,” read the suo motu notice taken by Justice Saron.

Another application from convict Manjeet sought directions to the District Magistrate, Sonepat, to accept the sureties of his home district.

Another convict complained that “convicts are not granted parole in time and STD maybe provided in the jail so that convicts may talk to their family members and demanded that all problems may be sorted out."

Justice Saron referred the matter to the Acting Chief Justice, who converted the same into a public interest litigation and issued notices to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. 

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extortion calls to doctor
Two accused in police net
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 11
The police has arrested two persons who had allegedly made extortion calls to a doctor working in Fortis Hospital. The accused have been identified as Rajesh (22) and Satish Kumar (30), both residents of Sector 19, Panchkula.

Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, while addressing mediapersons today said both suspects had allegedly made extortion calls to Dr RK Jaiswal, who worked as a cardiologist with Fortis Hospital here. They had demanded Rs 10 lakh from him.

He said the two were arrested by the CIA staff from Harmilap Nagar, Baltana, where they were allegedly waiting to collect the extortion amount from some person. The police had also recovered the mobile phone, which was allegedly used to make extortion calls and issue threats. Sim cards of various companies which were purchased by them after giving fake identity proofs had also been recovered.

Bhullar further said that on questioning, the arrested persons told the police that both of them worked in a private insurance company, which had its office in Dera Bassi. It was suspected that Satish Kumar was in a partnership with the owner of the insurance company. He said that preliminary inquiry revealed that the arrested persons made extortion calls and issued threats in the name of “Manga gangster”. They allegedly operated after gathering data from insurance documents.

A case under Sections 384, 506 and 511 of the IPC was registered against them at Zirakpur police station on getting secret information.

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Girl goes missing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
A 21-year-old girl has reportedly gone missing from Government College for Girls Sector 11. Manjeet Kaur was dropped at the college by her father on May 8, on the day of her exam. She did not return home. Her father, Malkit Singh, a Mohali resident, had lodged a missing report at the Sector 11 police station.

In another case, 68-year-old Naresh Kumar Jagota has gone missing from his Sector 44 residence since May 2. His brother reported that he was last seen wearing a pair of black sports trousers and white shirt.

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