Court rejects bail of Secy River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society in 250 Cr Scam


JAMMU, AUG 22:Special Judge Anticorruption Kashmir RN Wattal today rejected bail application of Abdul Hamid Hajam, secretary of the non-existent River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society, Srinagar in much publicized 250 Crore Scam. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had produced a charge sheet against three people including former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Bank for sanctioning a Rs 250 crore loan to a non-existent cooperative housing society two years ago.
"The ACB filed a charge sheet against Mohammad Shafi Dar, the then chairman of J&K State Cooperative Bank Limited (JKSTCB), Hilal Ahmad Mir, chairman of non-existent River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society, Srinagar and Abdul Hamid Hajam, secretary of the non-existent River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society, Srinagar.The ACB registered a case against Dar and others under various sections of prevention of corruption act for allegedly sanctioning a loan to the tune of Rs 250 crore in favour of the non-existent society for the purpose of construction of a satellite township at Shivpora locality in Srinagar bypassing the credit policy of the bank and on the basis of false and fabricated documents.The ACB investigation revealed that a conspiracy was hatched between Dar, Mir, Hajam, Mohd Mujib Ur Rehman Ghasi, the then registrar of cooperative societies, J&K, Syed Ashiq Hussain, deputy registrar cooperative societies and others in creating the fake society in 2018-19 in order to obtain a loan from the bank. Mir then approached secretary to government cooperative department Abdul Majid Bhat through the medium of an application on January 10, 2018 wherein directions were sought from the J&K Cooperative Department to J&K State Cooperative Bank Ltd Srinagar for grant of financial assistance (loan advance) to the tune of Rs 300 crore for the construction of the satellite township, the spokesperson said."The conspiracy of routing the application through the office of registrar of cooperative societies was done to camouflage the illegal acts of the accused and give it a stamp of government approval as otherwise there was no such precedence of routing loan application through the office of registrar for sanction of a loan in favour of a cooperative society and neither it was prescribed as mandatory requirement in the cooperative societies act,".The application of Mir was approved and forwarded to the chairman of J&K Cooperative Bank, Srinagar by Ghasi for the sanction of the loan."The chairman of the state cooperative bank in conspiracy with the borrower Hilal Ahmad and others has sanctioned the loan amount of Rs 250 crore in favour of the said fictitious society and out of that Rs 223 crore was released," the spokesperson said.The investigation has established that the loan was approved by the then chairman of the bank on the basis of false and forged documents by violating the banking rules and regulations and thereby causing loss of Rs 223 crores plus interest till date to J&K government exchequer and to the J&K cooperative bank and public at large, he said.
The amount was raised by the bank as a loan on the FDRs of JKSTCB Srinagar with the J&K Bank.
The entire loan amount was transferred into the account Mir from where it was transferred through RTGS/NEFT into the accounts of 18 people who are merely presumed to be shareholders/legal heirs of the land measuring nearly 13 hectares in Shivpora.Special Judge Anticorruption Kashmir RN Wattal after hearing both the sides observed that 14. The economic offences are committed with cool, calm and premeditated design with an eye on personal profit regardless of consequences to the society and constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different matter of approach in bail. Such offences have deep rooted conspiracy involving loss of public money and as such fall in the category of grave offences affecting the economy of the country. The involvement of petitioner in economic offences is conspicuous who in conspiracy with other accused with nefarious intentions have robbed the Cooperative Bank of our Union Territory and siphoned off the huge public money that was specially meant for providing the financial assistance to weaker sections of the society. Any concession of bail in favour the petitioner shall be against public sentiment. Moreover same shall also encourage those who believe in resorting to illegal and fraudulent means so as to mint money. The accused therefore does not deserve any mercy at this stage.
Court further observed that the bank scams in the Nationalized Banks is a daily affair in country nowadays. The storey of King Fisher Airlines owner is fresh in our minds, how he in conspiracy with bank officials robbed off one of the Nationalized banks of the country and fled the country. Same modus-operandi have been adopted by the accused petitioner and other co- accused so as to execute their shameful plans to rob the cooperative bank of UT. The scam in the cooperative bank has assumed public importance. The bank scams involving huge public money of this nature has shocked the conscience of a common man. People are afraid of depositing money in banks. The deceitful and depraved intend of the Petitioner in conspiracy with other accused was a design to falsely impress upon the public that society is registered and lawful and doing lawful business which otherwise was not so and charge sheet reveals that liability of the petitioner in the case is coextensive with that of co-accused whose bail applications have already been dismissed by this court. Furthermore the filing of the charge sheet against the accused does not lessen the accusations/allegations against petitioner being well founded on the material collected by the investigating officer. With these observations, the Court rejected the bail application. JNF

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