Bank loan scam: Bail pleas of 7 rejected

Accusations grave, custodial interrogation of petitioners can't be refused: HC

Bank loan scam: Bail pleas of 7 rejected

Legal Correspondent

Shimla, March 17

The HP High Court today rejected the bail applications of seven persons allegedly involved in the Kangra Central Cooperative Bank (KCCB) loan scam.

They are allegedly involved in a case of Rs 19.50 crore disbursed as loan by the KCCB to a bogus firm, UR Sinter Pvt. Ltd., at Amb in Una district. The State Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau, Una, had registered an FIR in the matter on December 10, 2021.

Three of the seven petitioners, namely Shivam Seth, Chetan Negi and Sunita Seth, are the directors or promoters of the company. The four other petitioners, namely Karnail Singh Rana, Lekh Raj, Yog Raj and Prakash Chand Rana, are members of the loan committee of the KCCB.

While rejecting the seven bail petitions, Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua observed, “Looking at the nature and graveness of the accusations being faced by the petitioners, their custodial interrogation cannot be refused at this initial stage. Various firms linked with the loan amount and their accounts are still being investigated. The extent of the role played by the members of the loan committee of the KCC Bank in the entire episode is still being investigated”.

The Judge observed, “Their custodial interrogation is also necessary not only for protecting the interests of the bank but also in the interest of public at large who had deposited their hard earned money”.

As per the prosecution, on January 25, 2014, the company applied to the KCCB branch at Amb for a composite loan of Rs 19.50 crore, a term loan of Rs 4.50 crore and cash credit limit of Rs 15 crore. The loan was applied for the installation of a factory for sintering and manufacture of grass cutting machines at Bambloo village of Una.

After approval from by the loan committee, the Branch Manager of KCCB, Amb, scrutinised the documents of the firm and found that the collateral properties offered by it were purchased only three months ago for Rs 2.29 crore, whereas for obtaining the loan its valuers showed the value of the same properties as Rs 21.3 crore and their distress value as Rs 16.72 crore.

It was alleged that to give undue benefits to the loanee, the loan committee members overlooked the expert opinion also.

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