Bank scam accused ‘names’ Raman Singh

Raman

In a fresh crisis for the Raman Singh government, the state Congress on Saturday released a video CD of the purported narco-analysis of the prime accused in a bank scam, in which he names the chief minister, three cabinet ministers and the then DGP as beneficiaries.

The CD purportedly shows Umesh Sinha, the accused manager of a cooperative bank, as saying that he and other bank officers paid Rs 1 crore each to Singh, PWD Minister Brijmohan Agarwal, Transport Minister Rajesh Moonat, Panchayat Minister Ramvichar Netam and then DGP O P Rathore.

The case dates back to 2006 when a Chhattisgarh-based cooperative bank, Indira Priyadarshini Mahila Nagrik Sahkari Bank, suspended its operations after defaulting on the payments of depositors. In 2007, RBI cancelled its licence and an FIR was filed against its officers on charges of embezzling Rs 54 crore. Sinha was among those arrested.

His narco-analysis was conducted in June 2007, following the court's permission. In a letter sent to the cooperative secretary in February 2010, the registrar, cooperative societies, sought a CBI probe. But the government did not agree.

The Congress today alleged that the state government had connived with the bank officials. "They paid money to the chief minister and other ministers to cover up the scam. The government embezzled even the hard-earned money of ordinary investors," alleged Congress programme coordinator Bhupesh Baghel as he released the CD.

In the 55-minute CD, Sinha, on being asked about the money paid, purportedly names the CM and other ministers on several occasions. Sinha got bail in 2010.

While the narco-analysis was part of the case diary, the CD was not produced in court. "This test was conducted on the directive of the court, but the prosecution did not submit it before the court," said Sinha's advocate, S K Farhan.

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