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Man impersonates dead father in Uttarakhand, withdraws pension for 37 years

Not only did the accused, UK Sarkar, conceal his father’s death to get his pension, but also asked his wife to impersonate his mother to avail of four loans from the bank that disbursed the pension.

dehradun Updated: Feb 24, 2018 21:32 IST
Mukesh Rawat
Mukesh Rawat
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Pension fraud,Man impersonates
A forgery and cheating case has been filed in Dehradun against a man who impersonated his father and withdrew his pension for 37 years.(Photo For Representation)

A forgery and cheating case has been filed against a man who impersonated his father and withdrew his pension for 37 years, Dehradun police said.

Not only did the accused, UK Sarkar, conceal his father’s death to get his pension, but also asked his wife to impersonate his mother to avail of four loans from the bank that disbursed the pension.

UK Sarkar’s father, KK Sarkar, was born in 1899. He was an employee with the forest department and had retired in 1955. In 1965, he opened a pension account at the Convent Road branch of the State Bank of India (SBI). When he died in 1981, his son did not inform the bank and continued to withdraw the pension, police said.

Bank and pension documents mention KK Sarkar as 119-year-old.

The fraud was unearthed after the income tax department recently instructed the bank to have a physical verification of all the pensioners who are more than 100-year-old.

“When bank officials visited Sarkar’s house for verification, his grandson informed them that he had died in 1981. We immediately started a probe and registered a complaint at Dalanwala police station,” said Vinay Kumar Khatri, assistant general manager of SBI, Dehradun main branch.

Over the years, UK Sarkar was successful in fabricating the mandatory annual verification for pensioners. “The proof that the pensioner is alive can be established online using digital signatures. The beneficiary is not required to visit the branch in person. It seems that UK Sarkar first forged his father’s signature and then used it for verification,” said Khatri.

He added that the bank was trying to verify the exact year of KK Sarkar’s death. “We have initiated an internal investigation. The bank will take strict action against all employees who are found guilty in this fraud case,” Khatri said.

The guidelines for pensioners state that they should appear before the disbursing agency in November every year and submit their annual life certificates. In case, a pensioner is unable to appear due to illness or infirmity, he/she can submit the certificate authenticated by a gazetted officer. Pensioners also have option to submit the certificate using Aadhar card-based authentication through Jeewan Pramaan.

Meanwhile, the police are trying to find out how the accused was able to carry out the fraud for 37 years. “We have asked the bank to provide us all documents that UK Sarkar submitted from time to time to impersonate his dead father. We are also investigating the role of bank officials,” said special sub-inspector Devender S Rawat who is investigating the case.

UK Sarkar also availed of four loans against the pension in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011.

When asked how the bank failed to detect the fraud on four occasions, Khatri said UK Sarkar had fabricated many identity documents. “He himself looks very old and it is possible that bank officials mistook him for his father. It is possible that he made forged identity documents. I will be able to tell the specifics once the internal probe is completed,” he said.

The loans were taken mostly as advance pension loans. One of the loans was worth Rs 25,000, but the bank did not share the amounts of other loans. “They were around the same amount,” said Khatri.

He said UK Sarkar also got his wife to impersonate his mother, who then became the guarantor in the four loans.

“To avail of a loan against pension, the wife/husband has to be a guarantor. UK Sarkar first impersonated his father and then asked his wife to impersonate his mother. Following this, she was presented as a guarantor and the loans were availed. We will also look into the role of his wife and how she fabricated her identity,” said Khatri.

The bank is yet to calculate the loss incurred by it in the last 37 years. At present, UK Sarkar was drawing a monthly pension of approximately Rs 9,000.

Khatri said the bank was calculating the loss incurred, following which they would get UK Sarkar’s property attached and recover the amount.

Police said the role of the officials, who verified life certificates given by UK Sarkar, would be investigated.

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 21:32 IST