Rs 223 Crore Bank Fraud: HC Rejects Plea Of Accused Ex-Chairman


J&K Cooperative Bank

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday rejected plea of former chairman J&K State Cooperative Bank, seeking quashing of FIR against him filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the whopping 230 crore fraud case.

The 223 crore scam was unearthed by the Bureau in March this year, involving many bank officials, including the ex-chairman Mohammad Shafi Dar and Hilal Ahmad Mir, the chairman of non-existent Cooperative Society named River Jhelum Cooperative house Colony at Shivpora Srinagar, who was arrested on May 18. The ACB has already filed a case against Dar, Mir and other accused.

Dar had moved court seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him by the ACB. He had also sought direction to the ACB to restrain from interfering with the management of J&K Cooperative Bank or “harass” him.

In his plea, Dar had submitted that the society had approached the Bank for grant of loan for converting land measuring 257 Kanals 18 Marlas, situated at Shivpora, Srinagar, into a Satellite Township for Kashmiri Pandits.

“Society was asked to execute required documents and accordingly it was being monitored by the Committee constituted and Kashmiri Pandits executed a Power of Attorney in favour of Hilal Ahmad Mir – Chairman of the Society, authorising him to transfer the land and raise finances in lieu of thereof and execute any document for creating lien in favour of Bank over the landed property,” he said.

He said some locals, who had an eye on the land, made complaints under “false” pretexts before all authorities and also filed two suits against land owners and the Society, who tried their best to restrain the Society from converting the land into Satellite Township while the Society as well as the Bank was doing their best to help protect interests of Kashmiri Pandits.

He claimed that the whole process was conducted as per law and rules and that he has not committed any wrong whatsoever.

“The report of Enquiry Officer (Deputy Registrar (Counsel) Cooperative Societies J&K) dated 5th February 2020 is self-explanatory and speaks of voluminous, and if discussed here would open a pandora box for discourse, discussion and threadbare examination and trial, which is the exclusive domain of Investigating Agency and Trial Court, and not that of this Court in exercise of inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C,” a bench of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul in a judgment on Dar’s plea, five days after reserving it for orders.

After hearing both the sides and in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment calling for use of power of quashing a criminal proceeding sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases, the High Court dismissed Dar’s plea as bereft of any merit.

“The petitioner (Dar) fails to make out a case for exercise of inherent powers under Section 482 Cr. P.C. to quash the FIR. The case is still under investigation and concerned agency is in the process of collecting evidence,” the court said, adding, “The investigation is necessary and the same cannot be stopped, at his stage, in the proceedings under Section 482 Cr.P.C. As a sequel thereof, instant petition is dismissed.”

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