Cheque scam accused denied bail - ECAS Punjab

Cheque scam accused denied bail

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Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 13

An alleged multi-crore scam, using blank cheques given by "simple, ignorant and mostly illiterate" farmers, to siphon off money from their accounts has surfaced before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Taking a serious view of the matter, Justice Deepak Sibal has not only dismissed anticipatory bail plea of the accused, but also directed the forwarding of the order's copy to Amritsar Commissioner/Joint Director, Income Tax (Investigation).

The modus operandi

  • Blank signed cheques were taken from farmers on the pretext of renewing loan limits. The petitioner, in connivance with bank officials, manipulated the banking entries to show repayment of earlier loan by the farmer/member

  • Thereafter, loan limit was renewed on the basis of forged recovery of earlier loan, and fresh cash advances/loans were made to the accounts of the loanees from the renewed loan limits

  • The cheque was misused and funds were either diverted to their personal accounts or cash was withdrawn

  • Instructions for recovering the loan, renewal of limit and further cash advances were made without the knowledge and consent of the member/farmer.

Justice Sibal made it clear that the authorities may examine the matter to find out whether the petitioner-accused violated provisions of the Income Tax Act before taking action in accordance with the law, if required.

"Such directions have been issued inter-alia keeping in view the allegations with regard to transfer of crores of rupees by the petitioner to the accounts of his family members, purchase of several properties by the petitioner/family members of the petitioner and deposit of Rs 1,05,000,00 made on behalf of the petitioner," he added.

The matter was placed before Justice Sibal after Sukhbir Singh sought anticipatory bail in a cheating and forgery case registered against him on February 18 under Sections 409, 419, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 477-A and 120-B of the IPC, the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Information Technology Act at Tarsikka Police Station in Amritsar district.

The FIR was registered on a complaint by Amritsar Central Cooperative Bank, alleging irregularities and embezzlement by the petitioner and officials of its Tarsikka Branch.



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