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A former branch manager of Punjab and Sind Bank has been sentenced by a Delhi court to one year rigorous imprisonment in a corruption case for misusing his official position by conspiring to cheat the bank.

Special CBI Judge Kanwaljeet Arora also awarded a year’s jail term to a businessman, P V Khullar, for attempting to cheat the bank in 1998 in conspiracy with then Punjab and Sind Bank branch manager Maha Singh to create a false liability of Rs 1.35 crores on the bank against a fraudulent transaction between two companies.

“Prosecution has been able to establish from the evidence on record that Maha Singh, being public servant, had hatched a criminal conspiracy and in furtherance of the conspiracy which he had with P V Khullar, he attempted to abuse his official position as public servant,” the judge said, while also imposing a fine of Rs one lakh each on both of them.

The court also observed that Singh’s act was nothing short of “criminal misconduct with dishonest intention” to help M/s Solar Finvest Pvt Ltd to the detriment of the bank for whom he was working.

“His actions have clearly transgressed the limitations and boundaries of plain and simple misconduct and entered in the contours of criminal misconduct,” it noted.

According to CBI, Singh had entered into a conspiracy with directors of two firms M/s Tar Agro Farms Pvt Ltd and M/s Solar Finvest Pvt Ltd and others to create a false liability of Rs 1.35 crores on the bank by getting accepted a bill of exchange of July 1998 against a fraudulent transaction of sale and purchase of rice between the two firms.

The court, however, noted that no loss was suffered by the bank.

FIR was filed by CBI against Singh, the then Manager of Roshanpura branch of the bank, Solar Finvest Pvt Ltd and its directors P V Khullar and Pramod Kumar, Tar Agro Farms Pvt Ltd and its director A Rathna Sabhapati and individuals – Chander Prakash, Ravinder Jain, NPS Sandhu, R Mohan Raman and Adarsh Kumar Jain in 1999.

During the trial, the accused persons had denied all the allegations levelled against them.

Except Singh and Khullar, all other accused were acquitted by the court.

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