In a rare order,the local Additional Principal Sessions Court has directed to issue summons to five nationalised banks as accused in a multi-crore corruption case of 2002. The court has also issued show-cause notices to 14 officers of these banks,asking them as to why they cannot be arrayed as accused in the case. The notices are returnable on March 23.
The five banks are Bank of India,Bank of Baroda,The Industrial Finance Corporation of India,The Union Bank of India and Dena Bank.
The officials who have been issued notices are all top brass of these banks,including those holding positions of director,managing director and chairman.
Issuing the order,judge PB Desai observed: There is sufficient material to show that the concerned banks have,prima facie,participated in extending financial assistance to the principal perpetrator and the prima facie commission of an offence is already held to have taken place in terms of various ordered passed by this court from time to time.
The order added: In the event,I am of the opinion that such banks are required to be brought on record of the present proceedings as accused and therefore,summons are required to be issued on each of the concerned banks
The notices are fallout of a case registered with the court in 2002,in which the court had ordered the Anti-Corruption Bureau to investigate a complaint from Ramsagar Parihar,an executive member of the Communist Party of India,against administrators of Maradia Chemicals Limited.
The company had taken a loan of around Rs 526 crore from different nationalised banks and did not pay back some Rs 326 crore of it. In his complaint,Parihar had alleged that the banks,its officials and the administrators of the company had connived with each other and siphoned off such a hefty amount of public money from public sector banks.
Parihar’s lawyer,Vinod Brahmbhatt,said the administrators of Maradia Chemicals Ltd had challenged the complaint,but both the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court rejected their petition. It was following this that the court has ordered to bring the banks (being a legal entity) and its officers on record during the proceedings of the case.