Accused had availed various credit facilities from Bank of India.
Mumbai: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday sentenced six persons to life imprisonment for committing fraud of Rs 2.5 crore by taking a loan on forged documents from Bank of India around two decades ago.
Special CBI judge Sardar Tamboli awarded life sentence to Bhagwanji Joshi, then AGM of Bank of Ind-ia’s Mandvi branch, borrowers Manohar Lal Ahuja and his son Amit, and three others, Mahesh Bohra, Sandesh Nage and Shanti Lal Chauhan, who had played a role in forging documents. The court also sentenced one Yunus Memon to three years of imprisonment.
The court held them guilty under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and under relevant section of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to the prosecution the accused fraudulently obtained credit facility of over Rs 2.5 crore from Bank of India between 2000 and 2003.
Public prosecutor Jitendra Sharma examined 39 witnesses to prove the charges against the accused. The charge against the accused was that Manohar and his son Amit had availed various credit facilities from Bank of India by forging documents between 2000 and 2003 for running a partnership firm. These, amounting to Rs 2.5 crore, were in form of cash and letter of credits.
The accused submitted existing stock of the company in a warehouse as well as a plot in Versova as security. The probe also found that property they had mortgaged was non-existent as well.
It was further alleged that the accused didn’t use the money for business but siphoned it off and used it for personal gain.
The matter came to light in 2004 when the accused stopped paying the loan instalments and it turned into an NPA, following which the bank lodged a case with the CBI.
The investigation revealed that the stock in the warehouse, which was presented to the bank as security was non-existent, with the borrowers coming up with the excuse that the stock was destroyed.
While pronouncing the qu-antum of punishment judge Tamboli observed that three of the accused are habitual offenders and have cheated various nationalised banks. The judge also observed all the accused committed an economic offence detrimental to the financial health of the country.