The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, on Friday, sentenced a businessman and a bank manager to two years’ rigorous imprisonment for giving a forged bank guarantee to the Bombay high court (HC) nearly 18 years ago.
Special CBI prosecutor AA Ansari said that the duo — Mahesh Bayani, owner of Narmada Nylons, and bank manager Sardar Manjit Singh — had caused the customs department a loss of nearly Rs 13 lakh due to their forgery. Ansari sought stringent punishment against the accused that could act as a “deterrent to other offenders in the future.”
Accepting Ansari’s argument, special judge RR Deshmukh sentenced Bayani and Singh to two years’ rigorous imprisonment. In 1984, the customs department had seized a consignment belonging to Narmada Nylons, which was being imported from the US, for non-payment of duty. The probe led the department to Bayani.
The businessman then filed a writ petition in the HC seeking the release of his goods. While the court ordered the customs department to release the goods, it directed Bayani to produce a surety bond of Rs 12,43,000.
Bayani then produced a guarantee of Punjab and Sind Bank, of which Singh was the branch manager.
Eventually, in 1992, the HC passed an order in favour of the customs department and directed Bayani to pay the duty. When the bank was asked to liquidate the guarantee, it refused stating that Bayani’s documents were forged.
In 1994, the CBI registered a case against Bayani and Singh for forgery, criminal conspiracy and cheating. The CBI filed a chargesheet against the accused in 1995.