64-year-old Mumbai man gets life in jail for cheating bank of ₹1 crore in 1999
The convict had forged the documents and signatures of an NRI and encashed the amount from the latter’s fixed depositUpdated: May 01, 2019, 01:00 IST
The sessions court on Tuesday sentenced a 64-year-old man to life imprisonment for cheating a public sector bank of ₹1.04 crore, by forging the documents and signatures of a non-resident Indian (NRI) in 1999 and encashing the amount from the NRI’s account. The court has also imposed a fine of ₹5.3 crore on him.
The convict, Narendra Chotalal Patel, had forged the documents and signatures of a United Arab Emirates (UAE) resident Hussain Ali Nensey and encashed ₹1 crore from the latter’s fixed deposit. Patel further used that amount to procure a loan from the same bank, by creating Nensey’s fake account.
In 1996, Nensey met an individual named Homi Patrawala, who introduced him to Vrushali Namjoshi, the then manager of the bank’s Hughes Road branch, where Nensey had an account since 1986. He opened a fixed deposit for a three-year term maturity and deposited ₹1 crore. Nensey then left for Sharjah in the UAE, where he resided with his wife.
In 1999, when Nensey returned to India, he approached the bank to obtain a loan against his fixed deposit. However, to his shock, the bank authorities informed Nensey that the amount had already been withdrawn. The bank authorities also discovered then that a false savings account was opened in Nensey and his wife’s name.
The prosecution submitted before the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge judge SR Tamboli, that Patel, a south Mumbai resident had forged Nensey’s signatures to withdraw ₹1 crore from Nensey’s account.
According to Chetan Kumar Nandode, the counsel for the CBI, after withdrawing the amount, Patel connived with Patrawala, Namjoshi and another bank official – Umakant Shirodkar – and opened a fake account in Nensey’s name at the same branch. The four then deposited ₹1 crore in the fake account and used it as a security deposit to procure a ₹80 lakh-loan from the branch.
The CBI submitted that Patel forged Nensey’s signatures for cheques and loan applications. During his testimony in the court, Nensey identified his signature on the original fixed deposit but stated that the signatures on the forged documents were not his.
In 2015, Namjoshi, Shirodkar and Patrawala were found guilty of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy and sentenced to three years in jail. Patel had been absconding since 2001, soon after the CBI filed the chargesheet against him. He was arrested in 2016 after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him.
This is the third life sentence awarded in a cheating and forgery case by the judge Tamboli within a week. On April 25, the court had awarded life sentence to a Thane resident in a ₹2.83 crore cheating case. On April 26, the court had sentenced six people, including a former assistant general manager of a national bank, in connection with a ₹2.5 crore fraud.