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Delhi Court Acquits 9 Accused In Bank Fraud Case, Cites “Casual” Probe By CBI


The case, registered in 2011, saw the trial begin in 2015.

New Delhi:

A Delhi court has acquitted nine individuals, including a company and four bank officials, in a nine-year-old case related to an alleged Rs 4.8 crore fraud against Canara Bank. The case, registered in 2011, saw the trial begin in 2015.

Special Judge Hasan Anzar of Rouse Avenue Courts acquitted Harpreet Fashion Pvt. Ltd, Mohanjit Singh Mutneja, Gunjit Singh Mutneja, Harpreet Kaur Mutneja, Harmendra Singh, Raman Kumar Agarwal, Darwan Singh Mehta, T.G. Purshottam, and C.T. Ramkumar, rapping the Central Bureau of Investigation for the “casual” nature of its probe.

The prosecution was unable to substantiate the charges against the public servants or establish any conspiracy between the public servants and the private accused, it noted.

The CBI had alleged that, from 2003 to 2007, four separate criminal conspiracies were orchestrated to defraud the bank. It claimed that funds were diverted through 47 cheques to five sister companies of Harpreet Fashion, which had received loans from the bank.

However, the court noted that merely issuing cheques to sister concerns does not imply wrongdoing unless the prosecution provides clear evidence of fund diversion and improper end-use.

“Mere issuance of checks by an accused to its sister concern would not make much difference unless the prosecution explains the diversion of funds by cogent evidence,” it held.

The judge also criticised the prosecution for not thoroughly examining or analysing bank accounts, statements of accounts, balance sheets, and relevant income tax returns to prove any illicit activity. The court observed that the prosecution selectively highlighted a few cheques without proper context and failed to question employees from the sister companies or provide evidence of fund misappropriation.

Furthermore, it pointed out that Harpreet Fashion only came into existence in March 2004, challenging the prosecution’s claim of a conspiracy starting in 2003. The court expressed dissatisfaction with the CBI’s investigation, particularly its failure to scrutinise the role of the Circle Office and Head Office, instead focusing solely on the Parliament Street Branch.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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