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More skeletons may tumble out of bank?s closet

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 00:15 IST
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THE JOINT Registrar of Cooperative Banks has ordered an inquiry into alleged irregularities in the Northern Railway Primary Cooperative Bank (NRPCB), following incidents of largescale bungling in the Moradabad branch of the bank.

The probe has already begun. Senior bank officials and office-bearers are under the scanner, sources said.

The probe may end up unearthing a largescale co-op bank scam and  throw up some more shocking facts in terms of involvement.

The Joint Registrar’s Moradabad office indicted the branch secretary in its inquiry report.

The report has found irregularities in repair work of the office building, irregularities in the distribution of funds to the labourers, violation of norms in accepting disbursement of loans, etc. The report has clearly held the secretary of the branch responsible for alleged irregularities.

Suspecting similar irregularities in Lucknow, the Moradabad office of the joint sought a detailed inquiry from his counter-part in Lucknow head office of the bank. The joint registrar has also expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the inquiry.

The Moradabad Registrar communicated to the Lucknow office on June 16. The joint registrar Lucknow admitted that there was a bit of delay in the inquiry owing to unavoidable circumstances. But, he was hopeful that the inquiry would be completed in the beginning of next week.

Irregularities in the Moradabad branch came to light following a complaint of harassment lodged against the secretary of the branch. Wife of Sohanpal Arya, Accountant Northern Railway Primary Cooperative Bank, Sushila Devi alleged that her husband was transferred to Allahabad from the Moradabad branch for not obliging the secretary with fake vouchers. The issue could come to light as the office of the Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Federation took it up on June 9, 2006. The chairman of the federation ordered an inquiry into the Moradabad and Lucknow branch.

The joint registrar admitted that there have been a lot of complaints of irregularities, mismanagement and fake bills against the senior officials and the office bearers of the bank.