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Hilal Rather owns no properties outside country: Legal Counsel

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Srinagar: Mudasir Raina, Legal Counsel for Hilal Rather in a statement issued today has highlighted the ‘gaping holes in the reasons and justifications provided by the ACB for handing over the case of M/s Paradise Avenue, Jammu to the CBI.

“For last nine months, the agency has not been able to identify the bank officials who as per them conspired with M/s Paradise Avenue to defraud the bank,” said Raina, adding, the questions that beg for an answer are:

‘Why are the bank officials still unidentified?

Were there any ghost identities operating in the bank, both during and after the regime of National Conference Govt., who cannot be brought to light even after such a prolonged and rigorous investigations?

Though there are four more partners in M/s Paradise Avenue, viz. Daljeet Wadhera, Deepshikha Jamwal, Dr. Rizwan Dar &Ghulam Mohd. Bhatt who collectively hold around 70% stake in the firm and were actively involved in the operations of the business, why is it that only Hilal Rather has been arrested and subjugated to custodial interrogation despite his poor medical condition, when the law of the land clearly states that every partner is liable, jointly with all other partners and also severally for all the acts of the firm, done while he is a partner.’

He said that it is clearly evident that the agency has completely failed in establishing any conspiracy between M/s Paradise Avenue and the officials of J&K Bank because it never existed.

“Having failed in its primary task of holding public officials accountable, the agency is trying to give a different colour to the case by resorting to canards and false accusations. The agency claims there are ‘international ramifications’ and a ‘possibility of stashing of funds and diversion of funds to subversive elements’. A premier investigative agency resorting to baseless insinuations after investigating a matter for nine months is nothing but a tacit admission of their failure and an attempt to wash their hands off the case by handing it over to another agency so that the case can be kept alive in the media trial rooms,” he said.

He said that benevolent acts as a responsible corporate citizen of the state of taking under privileged and aspiring professional cricketers of the state for a cricket tour have been tainted despite the fact that the first initiative was organized in association with J&K Police.

“The most pertinent question that arises is, if indeed Rs.26 crores was diverted from the project, then how is it that more money than the Rs.128 crores, provided by the bank for construction, has been spent on it? Out of the total outstanding loan amount of Rs.177 crores, the principal component of the loan for the construction of the project was only around Rs.128 crore, rest being interest component during the construction period. Anyone with some idea of construction costs in Prefabricated Steel Structures can vouch that more than Rs.150 crores have been spent on the project which can be easily corroborated through a valuation of the constructed project by independent experts,” said Raina.

“Regarding the accusation of existence of properties in U.A.E. and U.S.A. it is incumbent on the agencies to liquidate them, if they really exist, and make public money good without wasting a single moment but it would not happen as no such property exists,” added he.

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