iconimg Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Harpreet Kaur, Hindustan Times
Hoshiarpur, November 09, 2012
On receiving the nod from senior officers in Chandigarh, the Hoshiarpur primary agriculture development bank (PADB) authorities have submitted the Rs. 13-crore loan fraud case to the police.
The assistant registrar cooperative societies has written to senior superintendent of police (SSP) to register a case against the accused, including a manager, an assistant manager, a field officer, former chairman, vice-chairman and their kin, for having used fraudulent means to avail huge loans.

Hindustan Times was the first to expose the scam, after which the bank had suspended the three officials and the board of directors.

In April, the then assistant general manager had reported to the high-ups how certain officials and members of the management had been duping the bank and taking loans on the basis of false documents. A subsequent departmental enquiry and audit had confirmed the charges.

The audit department had scrutinised 105 loan cases and found that loans worth Rs. 12.6 crore were advanced in an indiscreet manner in 2011-12 alone. It had squarely held manager Balbir Singh Sandhra, assistant manager Vikrampal Singh and field officer Sandip Singh Sodhi guilty of misappropriation. All three were placed under suspension. In the last week of October, the board of directors was also suspended as some of its members too were found involved in the scam.

Garhshankar assistant registrar (AR) Charanjit Singh, who was appointed administrator of the bank following board suspension, passed a resolution to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused which was certified by the manager and forwarded to the SSP by the Hoshiarpur AR.

SSP Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill confirmed having received the complaint and said that further action would be taken after taking legal opinion.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the accused, who are politically connected, have tried their best to get the matter brushed under the carpet but since the cooperation portfolio is with the chief minister and the media exposed the matter, the bank officials could not dilly dally for long. A ruling party MLA is still using her influence to get the accused bailed out.