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Scam-accused bank manager in Mumbai acquitted after 27 years

Twenty-seven years ago, the CBI filed a case against three other people part from Raval and Parikh: JK Raval, a UCO bank official; NK Gosher, partner of Virgo Steels; and Arvind Parikh, managing director of Western Mini Steel Ltd.

mumbai Updated: Nov 08, 2018 15:59 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UCO bank,banker acquitted,Mumbai scam
The two accused were 82-yearold Vinodchandra Raval, a former bank manager with UCO Bank and 72-year-old Prithviraj Parikh, director of one of the companies to which credit facility was granted by the bank(HT File Photo)

A special court for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) acquitted a former manager of a state-run bank and a director of a private company, both of whom were linked by the agency to an alleged financial scam back in 1991.

The two accused were 82-yearold Vinodchandra Raval, a former bank manager with UCO Bank and 72-year-old Prithviraj Parikh, director of one of the companies to which credit facility was granted by the bank.

Twenty-seven years ago, the CBI filed a case against three other people part from Raval and Parikh: JK Raval, a UCO bank official; NK Gosher, partner of Virgo Steels; and Arvind Parikh, managing director of Western Mini Steel Ltd.

But as these three had died during the course of the trial, only Raval and Parikh (director of Western Rolling Mills Ltd and Western Mini Steel Ltd) continued to face the jury.

The CBI alleged JK Raval had signed unauthorised letters of credit (LCs) that were beyond his sanctioning limits to favour Virgo Steel buying material from Western Mini Steel. The agency also claimed UCO bank manager Vinodchandra Raval allowed the Bank of Rajasthan to discount the bills of Western Mini Steel against the issued LCs, which amounted to ₹7.24 crore.

The prosecution claimed these LCs were issued without obtaining letters of request, proper documents and were issued beyond sanctioning limits. It also argued the accused bank officials knew about this impropriety.

However special CBI judge PK Sharma observed non-compliance of procedure while granting credit to companies is tantamount to an irregularity and not an economic offence. The court further held that the prosecution failed to prove the transaction was not genuine and there was a conspiracy to defraud the bank.

First Published: Nov 08, 2018 15:59 IST