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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Loan fraud case: SBI’s vigilance cell finds involvement of 4 bank officials

Bhartesh Thakur, Hindustan Times  Panchkula, October 18, 2013
First Published: 12:17 IST(18/10/2013) | Last Updated: 12:19 IST(18/10/2013)

The vigilance cell of State Bank of India (SBI) has found involvement of four bank officials in connivance with Dr Gurvinder Pal Thami, working in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and his wife Dr Meenakshi Rohilla, working with Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education a n d Re s e a rch ( P G I M E R ), Chandigarh, in a bank loan fraud case.

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The doctors are out on anticipatory bail till October 21 from the high court but they have been ordered to join investigations. The case is being investigated by the Sector 5 police station.

“We will make the bank officials accused in the case. The doctors are yet to joininvestigations,” said inspector Mukesh Kumar, station house officer (SHO) of the Sector 5 police station.

FINDINGS OF SBI VIGILANCE CELL
As per the findings of Naresh Kumar, manager of the vigilance department, SBI officials from the PGI bank branch did not verify the copy of ‘agreement to sell’, on October 20, 2011, of a house in Sector 11 of Panchkula, from the original copy while processing loan for the doctor couple.

The findings say, “… they (bank officials) did not obtain the original copy of ‘agreement to sell’ from the intended borrowers which was executed for R 40 lakh. The borrowers (the doctor couple) submitted a tampered ‘agreement to sell’ for R 19.1 lakh on the basis of which a housing loan of R 18.45 lakh was sanctioned to the borrowers.”

The findings conclude that the tampering was done as the doctor couple was ineligible to get the loan of R 40 lakh. It was also found that the doctors tampered the amount of advance money given to the seller from R 5 lakh to ` 10,000 on the backside of the same stamp paper.

The sale of the house never materialised and the ‘agreement to sell’ expired on November 30, 2004. Still, on March 7, 2005, an amount of R 18.45 lakh was released to the doctor couple on the basis of expired copy of ‘agreement to sell’ and a cheque of R 19.1 lakh (including R 65,000 as margin money from the saving bank account of the doctors) was issued in favour of Sarita Kaushal, who holds the general power attorney and is a resident of the Sector 11 house, which the doctors intended to buy he findings say that no interim security was obtained to safeguard bank’s interest. On March 9, 2005, the cheque also got cancelled.

Then, on June 17, 2006, the doctors got another housing loan of same amount — ` 18.45 lakh — released for purchase of a house in Sector 4 of Panchkula.

As per the findings, no fresh loan documents were executed by the doctors and the loan was released on the strength of old loan documents which were executed on October 20, 2004, for the purchase of a house in Sector 11, Panchkula.

A banker cheque of ` 19.3 lakh was issued (including ` 85,000 as margin money from the saving bank’s account) in favour of the new seller.

INVOLVEMENT OF BANK OFFICIALS
Meanwhile, the doctors filed a civil suit against Sarita Kaushal over the ownership of the house in Sector 11. The vigilance department says that SK Sahni, assistant manager, SBI, falsely submitted in favour of the doctor couple, in court on January 5, 2012, that retention period of closed housing loan documents was five years, which was instead 10 years.

KL Thukral, then chief manager at SBI, gave an “arrangement letter” about housing loan account of the doctors to Sahni for submission in the court which was not the copy of actual “arrangement letter” which is on bank branch record.

Another official chief manager JR Thakur, who recommended the loan, and VK Sharma, who appraised the loan, are also indicted in the vigilance cell investigations.

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