Delhi assembly panel to submit bank fraud report in budget session

A meeting of the committee was held on Thursday where chief secretary Anshu Prakash, registrar of cooperative societies JB Singh and former registrar of cooperative societies Shurbir Singh remained absent.

delhi Updated: Mar 10, 2018 10:29 IST
Ashish Mishra
Ashish Mishra
Hindustan Times
delhi assembly,house panel,bank fraud
A meeting of the committee was held on Thursday where chief secretary Anshu Prakash, registrar of cooperative societies JB Singh and former registrar of cooperative societies Shurbir Singh remained absent.

The Question and Reference Committee of the Delhi Assembly, which is probing an alleged Rs 100-crore scam in the Delhi Nagrik Sehkari Bank (cooperative bank), will table its report in the coming budget session recommending action against erring officials, including “possible jail term”.

The bank comes under the Delhi government’s registrar of cooperative societies.

A meeting of the committee was held on Thursday where chief secretary Anshu Prakash, registrar of cooperative societies JB Singh and former registrar of cooperative societies Shurbir Singh remained absent.

Prakash, who had accused AAP MLAs of assaulting him in an official meeting at Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, had on Wednesday moved Delhi high court against the summon issued by the committee and got relief from the court.

The other two IAS officers were on leave and because of which they could not attend the meeting, which was open to the media.

Member of the committee, Saurabh Bharadwaj, said that around 17-18 meetings had been conducted while probing the alleged scam of fraud loans and that enough time had been given to the officers to explain what action they had taken in this connection.

“The committee will table its report in the Assembly’s budget session that starts from March 16. The committee will request the House to use its inherent powers (sending people to jail) to punish the culprits,” Bharadwaj said.

Recently, the AAP has served a privilege notice to the chief secretary for non-appearance before the panel. The committee, however, had assured the Delhi high court on Monday that it would not take any action against Prakash in the matter until the next date of hearing on April 11.

The committee members expressed unhappiness over the absence of IAS officer and said apprehensions that officials would be harassed in the assembly committee meetings were “baseless”.

“It is a serious matter concerning fraud loans to the tune of Rs 100 crore. But the officers are not willing to answer and cooperate. Like the chief secretary, they (Shurbir Singh and JB Singh) may also go to court in order to escape accountability,” Bharadwaj said.

The irregularities in the cooperative bank came to light when in 2013 the members of the bank had filed a complaint to the registrar of cooperative societies and the RBI alleging fraudulent loans that had led to increasing non-performing assests (NPAs). The NPAs of Lajpat Nagar and Karawal Nagar branches of the bank are 57% and 53% respectively.

“Additional deputy commissioner Sanjay Kumar Sharma in his enquiry report has stated that loans were extended on the basis of fake ITRs and forged property papers. The action taken by the authorities is an eyewash,” said Bhardwaj.

According to committee members, the loans were taken in connivance of the directors and a probe by the RBI had confirmed fraudulent loans in the Lajpat Nagar branch of the bank.

An inquiry by special secretary, general administration department (GAD), PC Jain, in 2015 determined that the “management of the bank knowingly created a false group of the ‘company and its individual directors’... with the purpose of facilitating the loan financing to (a) group”.

The Assembly committee began hearing the matter after an “unsatisfactory” reply to a question asked by AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi on January 18, 2017 in this connection.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 23:53 IST