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J&K Co-operative Bank chairman booked for sanctioning Rs 223-cr loan to non-existent society

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Srinagar, Mar 09: The chairman of the J&K Co-operative Bank was booked on Monday by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly sanctioning a loan of Rs 223 crores to a non-existent co-operative society, officials said here.

“On the outcome of a preliminary enquiry conducted by the ACB, it surfaced that chairman of the J&K Co-operative Bank Ltd., in convenience with officials/beneficiary, has sanctioned an amount of Rs 223 crores fraudulently in favour of a non-existent co-operative society under the name and style of ‘River Jehlem Co-operative Housing Building Society’ at Shivpora, Srinagar, shown owned/run by one Hilal Ahmad Mir, a resident of Magarmal Bagh Srinagar (beneficiary),” a spokesperson said.

It was further revealed that the so-called chairman of the society had moved an application in the Department of Co-operative Societies, seeking directions to the J&K Cooperative Bank Ltd for grant of financial assistance of Rs 300 crore for taking over possession of 300 kanals of land on the outskirts of the city for construction of a satellite township.

“J&K Cooperative Bank, Srinagar, sanctioned a loan to the tune of Rs 223 crores without adhering to any codal formalities, i.e. obtaining details of the society viz balance sheet, profit and loss account business, activities being done by the society, PAN number, ITR details and details of construction of the board, board resolutions, etc,” the official said.

During the inquiry, it surfaced that the ‘River Jehlem Co-operative Housing Building Society’ was not even registered with the Registrar Co-operative Societies, J&K.

“The chairman of the so-called society, by acting in league with chairman of J&K Cooperative Bank, Srinagar, and others, has prepared fake and fictitious registration certificates and managed the sanction of loan amount to the tune of Rs 223 crores,” he said.

The ACB spokesman said the acts of omission and commission on the part of Mohammad Shafi Dar, chairman of J&K State Co-operative Bank, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, and others in conspiracy with Hilal Ahmad Mir, resulting in loss of Rs 223 crores to the bank, constitute punishable offences.

Accordingly, a case has been registered and further investigation taken up, he said, adding, during the course of investigation, residential houses/offices of the accused persons were searched by the teams of ACB Kashmir and documents seized were being scrutinised.

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