The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested former Srinagar Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran in a multi-crore Jammu and Kashmir Bank loan fraud case. The agency took Imran into custody for questioning in connection with the illegal appropriation of the subsidy given to his company, Kehwa Square Pvt Ltd for setting up of a Controlled Atmosphere (CA) store, said the agency.
Imran was removed from Deputy Mayor post following a no-confidence motion moved against him by corporators of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
With a network of over 450 branches, J&K bank has the largest presence in the financial sector of Jammu and Kashmir and is seen as the commercial backbone of the Union Territory.
Why did Anti-corruption bureau arrest former Mayor Sheikh Imran?
A case was registered by the ACB against Imran, the Director of Srinagar-based Kehwa Square, some officers of Jammu and Kashmir Bank and other government officials for alleged illegal appropriation of the subsidy with an inflated project cost for establishment of CA storage at Lassipora in Pulwama.
Kehwa Group, subsequently, got their loan of Rs 138 crore with J&K Bank restructured for merely an amount of Rs 78 crores under a well-knit conspiracy by Imran and partners of Kehwa Square Pvt along with J&K Bank officials, the agency said.
The ACB investigation so far revealed that a large amount of the loan which was meant for construction of CA store was diverted. "The case is under investigation with ACB to unearth further details of bank fraud and Imran has been taken into custody for further questioning," said the agency.
Earlier in June, the Income Tax Department raided the offices of Sheikh Imran. The officials have also seized some documents from his office.
Two ex-chairmen names appear in ACB chargesheet
The J&K Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday, December 23 produced its first charge sheet in the special anti-corruption court against 23 officials of the J&K Bank for making illegal appointments in the premier financial institution. According to ACB, the charge sheet was presented on in the court of R.N. Wattal, Judge, special anti-corruption court, against 23 officials of J&K Bank.
Two former chairmen namely Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmed and Parvaiz Ahmed Nengmroo charged for making illegal appointments in the bank. Two former Vice Presidents of the bank, Mohd Ayoub Wanchoo and Fayaz Ahmed. The 23 accused in the charge sheet include 12 serving officials of the bank, five retired employees and six beneficiaries.
What is the J&K bank scam?
- J&K Bank created unprecedented and illegal practice.
- Made more than 3,000 backdoor appointments clandestinely, contrary to the rules and norms governing the subject.
- Apart from the backdoor appointments, serious charges of financial irregularities that are being investigated by the ACB and chargesheets against those accused in these irregularities are likely to be filed subsequently.
In order to safeguard the interest of bank depositors/stakeholders, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed a special nominee on the bank's board of directors in addition to sacking the then Chairman Nengroo. The bank has assured all its depositors/stakeholders that the financial parameters of the bank are sound and there is no need for the bank's depositors to worry.