CBI registers case against Punjab CM Amarinder Singh’s son-in-law in Simbhaoli sugar mill fraud

New Delhi: The BJP has finally got some fodder to deflect the daily Congress onslaught on Nirav Modi. In what is a god-send development, it turns out Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s son-in-law is among the 11 persons accused of causing a loss of Rs. 109 crore to the Oriental Bank of Commerce.

The probe agency has registered a case of fraud against Simbhaoli Sugars Limited — a private sugar-manufacturing firm based in Uttar Pradesh — its top officers and unknown bank officials. The CBI has charged them with criminal conspiracy and cheating.

Gurpal Singh, one of the deputy directors, is married to Captain Singh’s daughter Jai Inder Kaur. Simbhaoli was granted a loan of around Rs. 150 crore in 2011, to finance over 5,700 sugarcane farmers under a RBI scheme. The money, meant for farmers, was received between January and March 2012, but never reached them. It was allegedly diverted to the company account, CBI officials have said. The account was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) in March 2015, and a fraud in June 2015.

However, months before the account was declared an NPA, the same bank financed another loan of Rs. 110 crore to the sugar company under multiple banking arrangements to pay back the earlier loan. The second corporate loan, too, was declared an NPA in November 2016. The Oriental Bank of Commerce registered a complaint against Simbhaoli Sugars Limited in November last year. The CBI, however, registered an FIR on Thursday.

BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday hit out at the Congress over the fraud, saying it is shameful that the Punjab chief minister’s relative had pocketed the money meant for hardworking farmers. Shah also questioned why the Congress deleted a tweet about a news report on the alleged bank fraud.

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