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Monday, June 14, 2021

Chennai Port Trust moves Madras HC, wants bank to repay Rs 100-cr FD lost to fraud

A CBI probe into the matter is in progress but the ChPT said it was “in no way hampering the payment of amounts” and “a fraud said to have been committed at the bank level is no defence to the liability”.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
Updated: June 4, 2021 7:39:31 am
As per norms, ChPT had invited quotes for the FD in “non-callable” category, under which the amount cannot be redeemed early by the issuer except with the payment of a penalty.

The Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) on Thursday moved a petition in the Madras High Court demanding that the Indian Bank pay it an amount of Rs 100.67 crore — the fixed deposit made by the port which an impersonator had managed to loot from the nationalised bank’s custody last year.

A CBI probe into the matter is in progress but the ChPT said it was “in no way hampering the payment of amounts” and “a fraud said to have been committed at the bank level is no defence to the liability”.

The ChPT had deposited the amount in five instalments last year to the bank’s Koyambedu branch through online transfers.

As per norms, ChPT had invited quotes for the FD in “non-callable” category, under which the amount cannot be redeemed early by the issuer except with the payment of a penalty.

Problems started on May 14, 2020, when the ChPT securities section received a mail from the bank stating that the deposit of Rs 62.08 crore was closed on May 8. They received a cheque book from the bank on May 15, in the name of Chennai Port Trust General Insurance Fund, an account they never had.

On June 9, the bank said that the current account, to which fixed deposits were transferred for the alleged closure without ChPT’s knowledge, was created on March 10, 2020, at the Koyambedu branch. It was in the name of Chennai Port’s general insurance fund by an impersonator representing deputy director finance (ChPT) as authorised signatory.

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