‘False’ loan of Rs 11 crore: Three bank officers acquitted

A special CBI court, on Thursday, acquitted three employees of the Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank (CSCB) who were accused of falsely sanctioning a loan of Rs 11 crore to a firm Punwire and PMCL in September 1998.

Jagtar Singh, the then managing director, Vinod Sharma, the general manager and Ved Prakash, the Executive director of Punwire were accused of falsely sanctioning a loan of Rs 11 crore without tangible security or guarantee from Punwire and PMCL.

Counsel for defence said, "The major allegation of the case was that the MD of the bank had not taken a recommendation from the Punjab Investment Cell to pass the loan. However, a loan was sanctioned to Punwire in June 1998 for which the recommendation was taken. But in the same year, when another loan was sanctioned to Punwire after they cleared the previous one, the recommendation was not taken as it is a paid procedure. Hence it was avoided in the interest of the bank".

"My clients were accused of not checking the financial health of the company before they sanctioned a loan to them", he added. In the copy of the application moved by CBI stated that the tree were accused of giving the loan in undue haste over a period of 23 days.

When the bank authorities inquired the case, it was found that there was a problem with the bank funds. The inquiry of the loan was completed on January 29, 2002, a complaint was made against the three after the inquiry was completed by Vivek Atri, director of Public Relations, UT. Later, Ashok Sangwan, Joint Secretary Home-cum-vigilance officer filed a complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the three were charge-sheeted on August 30, 2003.

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