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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Multicrore bank loan scam: Partner of Shubham Hospital acquitted

HT Correspondent   Chandigarh, May 08, 2014
First Published: 12:00 IST(8/5/2014) | Last Updated: 12:01 IST(8/5/2014)

Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI ) spe-cial judge Vimal Kumar o n Wednesday acquitted Sandeep Sharma, a partner of Shubham Hospital and Diagnostic Centre in Sector 20, Panchkula, in a multi-crore bank scam after the prosecution failed to prove the allegations.

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Granting “benefit of doubt”, the court acquitted Sandeep, who was declared proclaimed of f e nder ( PO) in September 2011 . He was re-arrested on December 20, 2013.

Sandeep was booked in 2008, along with five others. The CBI court in May 2013 had acquitted five other accused who were three Punjab National Bank (PNB) officials - the then chief manager SN Mahajan, senior manager RK Chaba and manager Shashi Bhushan Gupta - along with advocate Mahinder Singh and for mer secretary of Zirakpur-based Bishanpura Cooperative House Building Society Geeta Ram Thakur.

Even as these five were acquitted Sandee p, who was the main accused in the case, was declared PO by the court.

As per the prosecution, Sandeep had managed to secure a loan of over Rs. 2 crore from the PNB on documents related to 23 flats in various societies of Panchkula. Investigations revealed that the papers of the flats were forged and the PNB had sanctioned the loan without verifying the documents.

The CBI had re gistered a case a g ainst prime accused Sandeep and Geeta Ram under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) 420 (cheating), 467 468 and 471 (sections related to forgery) of the IPC, besides the Prevention of Corruption Act on July 12, 2008. It was alleged that between August 2006 and March 2007, Shubham Hospital and Diagnostic Centre sought loan facilities from four banks.

Geeta, who was the authorised signatory as secretary of Bishanpura Cooperative House Building Society, had signed the agreements with the bank on the request of Sandeep, the CBI had alleged.

It was during the course of investigations that the CBI booked the bank of ficials for sanctioning loans worth crores to Sandeep without verifying papers. Sandeep’s total asset value had been shown as Rs. 268.5 lakh, while it was actually only Rs. 112.5 lakh.

THE CASE

Sandeep Sharma, a part-ner of Shubham Hospital and Diagnostic Centre in Sector 20, Panchkula, had hogged headlines in January 2008 when the Panchkula police booked him in a cheating case.

Initially, Sandeep was accused of illegally operat-ing upon patients by holding free eye check-up camps. As the investig ation proceeded, frauds committed by him while availing loans were exposed. The CBI had re gistered two cases against Sandeep in July 2008.

Following a complaint of the Panchkula civil surgeon, the police had sealed Shubham hospital on January 30, 2008. In her complaint, the civil surgeon alleged that Sandeep was running the hospital claiming that he was an ophthalmologist while he had no such degree.

In February 2009, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Sandeep and some bank officials. In December 2009, a special CBI court had framed charges against them.

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