Rs 22-cr iron ore scam: EOW files chargesheet, names 32 witnesses

In the 2,104-page chargesheet, the EOW has named 32 witnesses, including IAS officer Romila Dube, who investigated the case

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: March 20, 2018 6:13:49 am

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Chandigarh Police has submitted the chargesheet against Reliance Polycrete, a Delhi-based firm, in a case related to the cheating of Rs 22 crore from Punjab Agro Foodgrain Corporation Limited (PAFCL), also known as the iron ore scam. The chargesheet was submitted against Reliance Polycrete MD Sudesh Kumar Jain, directors Sunita Jain and Nischal Jain, employees Kailash Chand and Vinay Manchanda, property developer Virender Saini and Shad Anwar, advocate. According to EOW, the chargesheet has been submitted under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 468 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, on the complaint of general manager Rattan Mittal, assistant manager Sukhwinder Kaur and accounts manager Satish Kumar of PAFCL. In the 2,104-page chargesheet, the EOW has named 32 witnesses, including IAS officer Romila Dube, who investigated the case.

According to EOW officials, the Reliance Polycrete on April 2, 2004, had applied for finance from Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) to export iron ore. The managing director of Reliance Polycrete, along with others, then submitted documents of their properties in Delhi and Meerut (UP) as security to PAFCL, following which the company sanctioned aorund Rs 50 crore to Reliance Polycrete and out of which, it availed of Rs 22 crore. Though the company continued to pay its returns for sometime to PAFCL, it started defaulting later. Then, to recover the remaining amount from Reliance Polycrete, PAFCL officials initiated the process from the properties whose documents were submitted by Reliance Polycrete to avail of finance. Then, the PAFCL management, found that the documents submitted were forged. Also, the Meerut property did not match with the documents submitted while the Delhi property did not exist. An inquiry was then ordered by the Punjab government and it was conducted by IAS officer Dube. The IAS official submitted the report to the PAFCL, mentioning that a few government officials did not adhere to the prerequisite norms while approving the loan to the company. The report, however, did not mention the name of any official, said an EOW official.

Following the inquiry report, the case was transferred to Chandigarh Police as it fell under its jurisdiction and, finally on April 13, 2013, a case was registered by the Chandigarh Police against Reliance Polycrete owner SK Jain, his wife Sunita, son Nischal, company official Anil Verma and Virender Saini for submitting forged documents, cheating and conspiracy.

According to the chargesheet, after the scam was exposed, Reliance Polycrete paid back Rs 16,04,54,748 to PAFCL and till March 31, 2017, the firm owes Rs 36,71,98,121 to PAFCL, including interest on the pending amount from Rs 22 crore sanctioned to the firm.

After the case was registered on April 15, 2015, the accused Sudesh Jain and his wife Sunita were arrested and on June 12, 2015, their son Nischal was arrested. Then, on June 7, 2017, Kailash Chand and Vinay Manchanda were arrested. On July 31, 2017, Virender Saini was taken into custody followed by Shad Anwar’s arrest on July 5, 2017. Anil Verma, though, is yet to be arrested since his role is being verified as documents of the plots were reported to be in his name. At present, all the arrested accused are out on bail and the case is scheduled for hearing in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate on March 31.

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