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Posted at: Jun 16, 2019, 6:16 AM; last updated: Jun 16, 2019, 6:16 AM (IST)

More trouble for J&K Bank, dy mayor

More trouble for J&K Bank, dy mayor
A policeman stands guard outside J&K Bank. file photo

Tribune News Service
Srinagar, June 15

Days after income tax (IT) officials raided the offices of Sheikh Imran, Deputy Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the Peoples Conference leader, more trouble is in store for him as the J&K Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered a case against him for his alleged shady business deals.

The ACB registered a case at the ACB police station, South Kashmir (Anantnag), against Shiekh Imran director, M/S Kehwa Square Private Limited Bohri Kadal Srinagar, officials of J&K Bank and other government officials for alleged illegal appropriation of subsidy with inflated project cost for the establishment of CA (controlled atmosphere) storage at Lassipora, Pulwama.

The FIR was lodged after a verification carried out by the ACB found that director, Kehwa Group of Companies, Imran, had submitted a detailed project report to J&K Bank for the establishment of the CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama and allegedly inflated the project cost in connivance with officials of the bank and some government officials to misappropriate government subsidy to the tune of Rs 16.50 crore.

During inquiry of the case by the ACB, it also came to light that Kehwa Group had six more business units.

“Imran has raised varied loan facilities/ODs (overdrafts) for these business units. The liabilities on account of loan accumulated to Rs 138 crore. Since company Kehwa Square had turned into a non-performing asset (NPA), including its sister business concerns, Imran sought one-time settlement with the J&K Bank authorities. The bank finally granted waive-off liabilities of Rs 33 crore. Pursuant to the one-time settlement, the Kehwa group was asked to deposit Rs 105 crore in two instalments, with the first instalment of Rs 50 crore to be paid by 25.03.2017,” he added.

“In order to usurp the subsidy component under the garb of promoting the horticulture activity facility with the connivance of horticulture and bank officials, the proprietor of Kehwa Square Pvt Ltd, Imran, and his partners decided to declare the CA Store as a NPA without paying even a single instalment towards the bank even as the cost of the project assessed subsequently during inquiry by the ACB was found much lower than the projected cost,” a statement of the ACB said.

“Subsequent to the one-time settlement (OTS) surreptitiously consented by bank officials, the group’s second instalment of Rs 55 crore was further reduced to Rs 27 crore. It then sought further concessions from the bank,” it added.

A spokesman of the ACB said under a well-knit conspiracy, Imran and partners of Kehwa Square Pvt Ltd were extended covert and overt support by officials of J&K Bank and the joint inspection team to dishonestly confer undue pecuniary/ monetary advantage on Kehwa Group, resulting in the loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer.

‘Project cost inflated’

The ACB lodged an FIR after its verification found that director, Kehwa Group of Companies, Sheikh Imran, had submitted a detailed project report to J&K Bank for the establishment of the CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama and allegedly inflated the project cost in connivance with officials of the bank and some government officials to misappropriate government subsidy to the tune of Rs 16.50 crore.

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