In a blow for CBI, 5 former employees of Canara Bank released in a loan case | India News
MUMBAI: In a blow to the CCR in the fraud case involving the promoter of Winsome Diamonds, Jatin Mehta, a special court acquitted five Canara Bank executives, all of them elderly, and observed that there was no evidence to conclude prima facie that they were part of a conspiracy. The CBI had alleged that the five committed a breach of trust by recommending loan proposals to their superiors without carrying out an independent appraisal, which ultimately caused losses of Rs 146.3 crore to the bank.
Awarding a remedy to the officers, Special Judge AS Sayyad said, “…it is very clear from the facts that the final decisions were made by the superiors who unfortunately were not…involved…and not…prosecuted by the prosecution. of the CBI. The court further said that the defendants, employees of the bank, handled the loan proposals, but the final decision was made by the members of the management committee and the board of directors of Canara Bank.
“There is not even a prima facie case that is brought to my attention from the indictment as a whole to show that the applicants (five defendants) committed an overt act and omission of their part to facilitate the acts of other defendants nor any material evidence to reach the prima facie conclusion that they were part of any conspiracy alleged by the CBI prosecution,” the court said. The court also said that Corruption-related offenses were also not charged against them.
The court pointed out that the bank had refused to sanction the lawsuits against four other bank officers still on duty. The bank had concluded that there was no established offense as alleged by the prosecution in the indictment.
Among those released from the case are SK Bansal (66), who worked as Managing Director from 2011 to 2012, TK Bajaj (69) who served as Deputy Managing Director, from 2009 to 2012, S Parthasarathy (66), who served as Deputy Managing Director, Bangalore from 2010 to 2013, S Krishna Kumar (65), who served as Deputy Managing Director of Bangalore from 2010 to 2012 and Mool Chand Gauba (70), who served as Managing Director, CCPCanara Bank, Bangalore from 2010 to 2012.
In their pleas, the five told the court that most of them had retired either before the crime was recorded in 2016 or immediately after. Their lawyers told the court that throughout their tenure they had discharged their official duty honestly. Calling the CBI’s case false, the defense also argued that at the relevant time their job was only to present proposal notes to their superior and that the final authority was that of the board of directors. They said they never had the power to sanction the loans.
The CBI strongly opposed their pleas and said that by virtue of their criminal conspiracy, the defendants being public officials abused their official position by not following bank circulars and guidelines. The CBI alleged that without an independent assessment, it recommended a proposal note and thereby committed a criminal breach of trust and criminal misconduct.