The investigation into the money laundering and fake appointment scam at J&K Bank is not over yet. The Income Tax Department on Tuesday raided the offices of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation's Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran, who is also a businessman and owns many commercial properties in Srinagar. The IT department officials raided Shiekh Imran's office at a shopping complex, Sangarmall, and another one in downtown Srinagar.
The officials have also seized some documents from the Deputy Mayor's office. Sheikh Imran, who recently joined Sajad Lone's People Conference Party, is also believed to be one of the biggest defaulters of J&K Bank.
Incidentally, he lauded the J&K government's decision to remove J&K Bank chairman Parvez Ahmad from his post and took a dig at the functioning of the financial institution.
The Reserve Bank of India and Home Ministry had permitted the J&K Governor to immediately sack Parvez after allegations of nepotism and corruption against him surfaced.
The case of fake appointments of relationship executives in the bank is particularly being probed which may lead to a crackdown on several ex-ministers who served in former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's cabinet.
Mehbooba had criticised the manner in which Parvez Ahmad was removed from his post and had demanded a bias-free investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, the central government may rope in Enforcement Directorate as well Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the J&K Bank fraud case reportedly not only for money laundering but also for terror funding.
"The scale of fraud and corruption in the present case is of high volume and will require a forensic audit by a specialised agency like CBI. The state's ACB has unearthed names of some politicians who enjoyed the patronage of the bank. Properties were bought using bank money within and outside J&K and will require probe by central agencies," sources told the Economic Times.
The National Investigation agency has already been entrusted with the role to trace avenues for funding of various militant organisations in the valley and bringing in ED as well as CBI may help overhaul the system, the senior official stated.
Besides, the home ministry is also looking at dividing the control of the bank among its board members and not just restricting it to the chairman. The Centre is planning to separately appoint Chairman and Managing director of the bank that will ensure safety standards in terms of financial control and risk management.