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A court here has sentenced four bank officials and three other people to three years’ jail for defrauding a bank to the tune of Rs.1.14 crore, and said their act has eroded common man’s confidence in the banking institution.

“The conduct in which the convicts herein had indulged not only lowers the image of public servants, as well as the system, but also erodes the confidence which a common man has in the banking institution, as such,” the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Kanwaljeet Arora said in an order delivered last week.

The court added that this erosion of faith of the common man, who is the source of public money, being an investor – which is then utilised by the bank for its business – makes the banking structure brittle, which then starts crumbling.

The court said that public money should not be misused or misappropriated for any undue financial advantage.

Judge Arora awarded jail term to three senior retired bank officers H.Surendra Shetty, K. Vasanth Kumar Shetty and H. Balakrishna Shetty with serving bank officers A. Maillappa Rai, then working as a manager, foreign exchange department.

The court also sentenced Rakesh Kumar Bhatia, the principal borrower, Jiya Lal Arora, the guarantor, and Vijendra Kumar, the empanelled valuer with complainant bank.

The court slapped a fine of Rs.10 lakh on Bhatia, Rs.2 Lakh on Jiya Lal Arora and Rs.1 lakh on the four bank officers each. Vijender Kumar was asked to pay a fine of Rs.50,000.

They all were facing trial for a criminal conspiracy during 1994-1998, for defrauding Vijaya Bank at Barakhamba Road here.

They availed various credit facilities on the basis of fake collateral security in the name of a man who did not even exist and caused a wrongful loss to the bank and gain to Rakesh Kumar Bhatia.

The court said that public servants, entrusted with the domain over public money, are expected to deal with it with utmost propriety and transparency in order to keep the economic equilibrium of the society in place.

The court noted that the offence of cheating, impersonation, creation of false report and use of false and forged documents as genuine, were committed in furtherance of the larger conspiracy.


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