THE CBI Special Court on Tuesday concluded a 14-year-long trial in a corruption case by convicting six of the nine accused. The court of Shashi Bala Chauhan held the accused guilty of various offences and sentenced all of them to rigorous imprisonment of three years. The court held all six guilty of causing loss to the tune of Rs 6.12 crore to the Oriental Bank of Commerce. The period of commission of offence was 1999 to 2001.
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The CBI had registered an FIR in the case on April 30, 2002. While one of the accused, P K Sharma (then general manager of Oriental Bank of Commerce), died during the course of trial, charges were dropped against another accused, advocate Ashvini Kumar Chopra, in February 2008 and another accused, Satish Kumar, proprietor of Sonepat-based Aggarwal Hardware store, was acquitted. The court, on March 18 this year, had also dropped charges against P K Sharma.
The five convicted were Vinay Mehra, a Delhi resident, owner of Dunroll Industries Ltd, New Delhi; Sandeep Kumar, proprietor, Aggarwal Sales Corporation, Delhi; R S Bindra, the then Deputy Manager, OBC in Chandigarh; S C Malhotra, the then Deputy General Manager, OBC in Ahmedabad; and R K Uppal, the then Chief Manager, OBC in Bathinda. All five were granted bail after the sentence was pronounced.
The CBI had found all five guilty of hatching a criminal conspiracy and indulging in corrupt practices to dupe the Sector 19 branch of OBC bank on the basis of forged documents. The convicts had illegally granted cash credit limit and bank guarantees to Dunroll Industries Ltd.
The CBI had found that R K Uppal, while working as chief manager of the bank, abused his official position and gave permission for fraudulently opening of an account in the name of Dunroll Industries. Thereafter, on September 14, 1999, Uppal recommended sanction of a cash credit limit of Rs 5 lakh and a bill discounting limit of Rs 20 lakh to the said company to set up a food processing unit in Solan without verifying the functioning and status of the company.