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CBI court in Mumbai says begin trial in 25-year-old bank fraud case from March 20

The order came when one of the accused Dhairyasheel Jagtap,75, broke down and sought that the trial be expedited

mumbai Updated: Feb 11, 2018 00:26 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,CBI court,bank fraud
The bank fraud case was registered in 1993, but even the first witness hasn’t been examined till date.(Representational photo/HT file)

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday directed the prosecution to expedite the trial in a 25 year old bank fraud case registered in 1993 against two accused. Noting that the papers of the case are already torn, the court directed the prosecution to begin the trial from March 20.

The court order came when one of the accused Dhairyasheel Jagtap,75, a retired bank manager, broke down before the court on Friday and sought that the trial be expedited.

Jagtap worked as a branch manager with Bank of Maharashtra – Napean Sea Road branch between 1986 and 1988. It was alleged that people belonging the companies of Jayantilal Group conspired with the bank officials and had projected inflated figures of the creditworthiness of the companies represented by them. They later secured more loan from the bank than they were entitled to.

According to the case, the CBI had registered a cheating case against four companies and two of their directors in 1996 for cheating the bank. Later, four bank officials were also made accused in the case. So far, the four companies and directors have been discharged from the case. Out of the four bank officials, two have died.

As a result only two accused are facing trial, one being Jagtap and the other being MS Fadnis (70). It is stated that after Jagtap, Fadnis worked as branch manager between 1988 and 1990.

When the case came up for hearing on Friday, Fadnis’ lawyer told the court that they have approached the Bombay high court for quashing the case and pleaded that the case be adjourned. Hearing this, Jagtap broke down and pleaded that as there is no stay from the high court, trial should begin.

Jagtap claimed that bank officials who had clean past records have been made victims in the case. He further pleaded that ever since they were implicated in the case, they had lost everything and are suffering great hardship.

After hearing Jagtap’s pleas, the court observed that, “The merit of the case is altogether a different aspect. Same cannot be influenced by their submissions as such. Still it cannot be ignored that almost 25 valuable years of their life had gone in continuously climbing the steps of the court when even the first witness has not been examined till date.”

The judge, who took over charge of the special CBI court only by last month, noted that perusal of the record of the case shows that most of the papers submitted in the court were photocopies. The court stated that the CBI counsel were not present even to inform about the availability of original records.

The court has now asked the agency to take further necessary steps within a month. It asked the CBI to trace the complainant in the case and begin the trial from March 20.

First Published: Feb 11, 2018 00:26 IST