Banker, bizman get 4-yr jail in loan fraud case in Chandigarh
Stating that financial fraud is as grave as a murder or rape, the special court of Central Bureau of Investigation, Chandigarh, on Monday awarded four-year jail to a former bank official and a businessman in a ₹3.5-crore loan fraud case. The court also imposed a fine of ₹25 lakh on the convicts.
According to the CBI, Tarsem Lal Singla, 65, director, Aakriti Constructions and Developments Limited, in connivance with Inderjit Singh, 67, the then senior manager, Punjab and Sindh Bank, submitted fake documents for a loan and caused a loss of ₹3.5 crore to the bank. The bank official allegedly made fake entries and did not maintain a proper record of the loan file. A case was registered in 2013 after a complaint from the bank authorities.
The CBI court on February 10 convicted Singh and Singla under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13 (1)(d) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which pertain to criminal misconduct by a public servant. The sentencing took place on Monday.
In court, both convicts pleaded for leniency, citing their age and poor health. However, public prosecutor KP Singh argued for an exemplary punishment to check rampant corruption.
Sushil Kumar Garg, special judge, CBI, in his order stated that the convicts “have committed economic offences which are detrimental to financial health of the country. Therefore, financial fraud is like a murder and rape”.
Stating that the conduct of the two was “highly deplorable”, the judge ordered: “Any softness in this regard could produce an undesirable result, namely encouragement to adoption of corrupt means by public servant in connivance with private party, which has indeed to be checked, and not allow to be increased.”
Besides awarding four-year imprisonment to the two, court also imposed a fine of ₹5 lakh on Singh and ₹10 lakh each on Singla and his firm.