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Thursday, 15 October 2020

High Court directs probe by EOW

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 14

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed investigation by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police into an alleged vehicle loan scam involving "huge public money" after observing that the probe carried out so far was "wanting to some extent".

"It appears that there is a scam coined by the unscrupulous persons in connivance with the bank officials," Justice Raj Mohan Singh asserted, while asking the UT Senior Superintendent of Police to entrust the investigation of the cases to the EOW.

Justice Raj Mohan Singh also made it clear that the investigation would be carried out by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, while dismissing the bail pleas of two accused, including the "Branch Manager" of State Bank of Patiala Rattan Singh.

Justice Raj Mohan Singh added four "such cases" had been brought to the Court's notice, in which involvement of two other persons, Vivek and Karanbir, had come to the fore. Those cases were subject to lawful investigation by the investigating officers of the cases. But the fact remained that it was a scam, where huge public money was involved.

"To unearth this scam and involvement of all persons, custodial interrogation of the petitioners is necessary," the Bench added. The case has its genesis in two petitions filed by Jatinder Pal Singh and Rattan Singh for anticipatory bail in a cheating and forgery case registered on February 1 under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at the Sector 19 police station.

The Bench was told that Jatinder Pal Singh had taken Rs 20-lakh loan for purchasing a vehicle, which he booked, but later cancelled. It was also alleged the loan of Rs 20 lakh was sanctioned and credited to an account in the dealer's name on the basis of forged invoice. UT counsel JS Toor submitted the account was fraudulently opened to usurp the loan amount. Out of the total amount, Rs 13 lakh was transferred to Jatinder Pal Singh's account.

Rattan Singh, stated to be the Branch Manager, had conducted pre-sanction survey and verified the documents, it was alleged. Jatinder Pal Singh's counsel, on the other hand, submitted a fraud was committed with the petitioner by Vivek and Karanbir, who projected themselves as the bank's 'direct marketing agents'.

Justice Raj Mohan Singh asserted Vivek and Karanbir were not found to be appointed 'Direct Marketing Agents'. It was hard to fathom how loan could have been disbursed without the car being actually delivered and its physical verification. "It could only be possible with the connivance of the bank officials. The names of Vivek and Karanbir under the alleged plea of 'Direct Marketing Agents' have appeared in number of cases in and around Chandigarh," the Bench added.

from The Tribune

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