A magistrate’s court last week sentenced nine senior citizens, including the 61-year-old managing director of a denim manufacturing company, to three years’ simple imprisonment for defrauding Bank of Baroda and Federal Bank to the tune of Rs 13.5 crore between 1997 and 2000. The court noted that the absence of any cheating or fraud complaints from banks against the accused was insufficient to absolve them of their criminal act.
“It is currently accepted practise that anyone with knowledge of a cognisable offence may initiate an investigation. Given that the money involved in the financial crime is public money that belongs to public sector banks, the prosecution was started on the basis of information the CBI obtained and would be permitted to do so under the terms of the Delhi Special Police Act. The lack of a complaint or FIR from the banks is not proof that the accused did not defraud, fabricate documents, or commit other crimes, assistant chief metropolitan magistrate Jaywant C Yadav remarked.
In opposition to the defence, the magistrate cited a one-time settlement of Rs 25 crore reached with one of the banks to release them from criminal responsibility. In order to get credit facilities, the accused fabricated documents and engaged in a criminal conspiracy.
Additionally, it was noted that socio-economic misdeeds were clearly having an impact on the economy and needed to be taken seriously. Sandeep Kumar, a special public prosecutor with the CBI, claimed that although the amount of genuine fraud and deception committed exceeded Rs 100 crore, the settlement was just about Rs 25 crore.
Kumar claimed that the settlement was made while the case was pending in order to seek harsh punishment. Two defendants, vice president Ranglal Nahar and chairman Hari Ranka, passed away while the case was still in progress, and R J Rathi is still at large. Formally known as Modern Suitings Pvt Ltd and then Modern Denim Ltd, the accused business was.
The monies were used improperly for other liabilities, the magistrate ruled in the judgement.