Officials of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Pune City Police briefed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday about the arrests of top officials of Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) in connection with the Rs 2,043-crore fraud case against city-based DSK Group, which is accused of cheating thousands of its depositors.
Fadnavis was in Pune, along with Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, for the inauguration of the new building of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Later, EOW officials briefed him about the probe into the DSK case, in which six persons, including Bank of Maharashtra’s CEO and managing director Ravindra Prabhakar Marathe, the bank’s executive director Rajendra Gupta, former CEO and MD Sushil Muhnot, zonal manager Nityanand Deshpande and two officials of the D S Kulkarni Developers Limited (DSKDL) — chartered accountant Sunil Madhukar Ghatpande and chief engineer and vice-president Rajiv Dullabh Das Nevaskar — were arrested on Wednesday.
While Muhnot was arrested from Ahmedabad, Deshpande was taken into custody from Jaipur on Wednesday and both were brought to Pune by the police teams. Muhnot will be produced before the court on Friday morning, said police.
The EOW produced Deshpande before the Shivajinagar court, which remanded him in police custody till June 27. The other four arrested in this case were remanded in police custody till June 27 by a court on Wednesday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW) Sudhir Hiremath confirmed that the chief minister, who is also the state home minister, was briefed about the status of investigation of the DSK case. Police have alleged that the accused bank officials conspired with the key accused in the fraud case to illegally sanction a loan of Rs 100 crore for a real estate project of one of the companies of the DSK Group. The police have claimed that the accused bank officials had violated norms and Reserve Bank of India guidelines while sanctioning the loan.
Police told the court that the accused bank officials had sanctioned the loan to the DSK Group company without the approval of other banks, which were part of a consortium, comprising State Bank of India, United Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank and IDBI Bank. Also, the loan amount was supposed to be disbursed in installments according to the progress in construction.
“But, as part of a pre-planned conspiracy, the accused bank officials allegedly passed a resolution illegally on March 19, 2016, and relaxed the condition that money will be disbursed after tie-up of other banks. Then, on March 21, 2016, they passed an order in this regard and next day, on March 22, an amount of Rs 50 crore was disbursed to the DSKDL,” the police claimed.
The investigations began following a complaint lodged by a depositor, Jitendra Narayan Mulekar, at the Shivajinagar police station in October last year. Police have so far booked 19 persons in this case, of whom 12, including developer Deepak Sakharam Kulkarni alias DSK and his wife Hemanti, have been arrested.
On May 17 this year, a Special Investigation Team had filed a 36,875-page-long chargesheet against Kulkarni and Hemanti. According to police, since 2010, the couple had ‘lured’ people into investing money in the schemes of their company by offering attractive returns. Later, these deposits were allegedly diverted into the accounts of family members of Kulkarni and further routed into his own accounts and those of Hemanti and their son Shirish.
Police said that besides BoM, the role of officials from five more nationalised banks, which were part of the consortium, is also being probed for allegedly sanctioning a total loan amount of Rs 600 crore for DSKDL’s ‘Dream City’ housing project in Fursungi in 2016.
Meanwhile, Marathe was admitted to the Sassoon hospital after he complained of chest pain in the early hours of Thursday. He underwent essential medical tests and was discharged later as the medical reports were normal, said police.