Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to complete the investigation into the alleged scam of Rs 250 crores fraudulently sanctioned by the Chairman, J&K State Cooperative Bank Limited in favour of River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society Ltd. (JKSCBL).
The court while rejecting the bail application of Hilal Ahmad Mir, Chairman, JKSCBL directed ACB to file the supplementary charge sheet as early as possible, preferably within a period of one month from today.
“Thereafter petitioner shall be at liberty to move the trial court and if any such application is filed, the trial court is free to consider the application independently on its own merits without being influenced by dismissal of this petition,” Justice Sanjay Dhar ordered.
Justice Dhar while analysing the case in light of Supreme Court orders opined that the petitioner cannot be released on bail at this stage when the whole conspiracy is still under investigation and it would be detrimental to the public interest as well as to the interest of the State.
The Single Bench noted that the Court has to strike a balance between the rights of the accused to his liberty and the interest of the society.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances peculiar to the instant case, it would not only be premature but it would also be inappropriate to grant the concession of bail to the petitioner keeping in view the seriousness of allegations against him and the public interest,” the court said.
Earlier, ACB registered a case (FIR 4/2020) against accused Mohammad Shafi Dar, the then Chairman, J&K State Cooperative Bank Limited for fraudulently sanctioning loan of Rs 250 crores in favour of a non-existent Cooperative Society, namely, River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society Ltd.
The loan was sanctioned to the aforesaid Cooperative Society for the purpose of construction of a Satellite Township at Shivpora, Srinagar.
Prior to sanction of the loan, on 10 January, 2018, the petitioner had approached the Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Department for grant of financial assistance to the tune of Rs 300 crores for the purpose of construction of Satellite Township on 300 kanals of proprietary land located in the outskirts of Srinagar City.
The application of the petitioner was endorsed by the then Secretary to the Government, Cooperative Department to the Registrar Co-operative Societies, J&K, for taking up the matter with the concerned bank. Thereafter the application along with the recommendation, in terms of letter dated 26 Match, 2019, was forwarded by Registrar, Co-operative Societies, J&K, to the Managing Director, J&K State Co-operative Bank Ltd. (JKSCBL) enclosing therewith a photocopy of the certificate of registration of River Jhelum House Building Co-operative Society Ltd.
The JKSCBL sanctioned a loan to the tune of Rs 250 crores without obtaining field report, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, PAN Number, income tax returns, constitution of the society including its bye-laws and Board resolution etc. and also without securing the loan amount by way of taking sufficient collateral security.
Thus, as per the FIR, the Chairman of JKSCBL in conspiracy with the petitioner sanctioned and released the loan amount by flouting all the rules and regulations of the Bank.
After conducting investigation of the case, the investigating agency has come to the conclusion that the accused Dar in conspiracy with accused Hilal Ahmad Mir and accused Abdul Hameed Hajam entered into a conspiracy with each other and along with other persons, defrauded the Jammu and Kashmir Co-operative Bank Ltd on the basis of false and forged documents and succeeded in causing loss to the tune of Rs.223 crores plus interest to the government exchequer and to the Jammu and Kashmir Co-operative Bank.
It is further stated in the chargesheet that investigation regarding roles of Mohammad Mujib -ur-Rehman Gassi, the then Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Ashiq Hussain, the then Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies and others is still in progress and report in terms of Section 173(8) of CrPC would be submitted before the Court upon completion of further investigation of the case.