No proof against Bank of Maharashtra top officials in DSK scam: Police tell court

Mumbai: Pune police told a court in Pune on Saturday that it did not find sufficient evidence against top officials of Bank of Maharashtra, arrested in connection with a cheating case against city-based developer DS Kulkarni. The public sector bank’s CEO & Managing Director Ravindra Marathe, Executive Director Rajendra Gupta and former CMD Sushil Muhnot should therefore be discharged, police said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing) Nilesh More filed a report before special EOW judge D G Murumkar Saturday, seeking discharge for the three accused.The EOW did not include the name of another accused, Nityanand Deshpande, a zonal manager of the BoM, in the discharge plea.  All four are currently out on bail. The court is likely to pass an order on the discharge plea on November 3. In June, the Pune EOW arrested Marathe and other top officials for allegedly misusing their official positions for sanctioning a loan to Kulkarni’s construction firm, DSKDL.

They allegedly colluded with DSKDL with a “dishonest and fraudulent intention” to sanction the loan, police said. Defence lawyer Harshad Nimbalkar told reporters Saturday that police arrested the bank officials for no reason.

“A loan of Rs 600 crore to the DSK (as Kulkarni’s firm is popularly known) was given by six banks which were part of a consortium and in that consortium, Bank of Maharashtra was one of the banks which had given a loan of Rs 100 crore and it had been approved after complete due diligence,” he said. “One investor of DSK in his complaint said he along with several other people invested money in DSK and they did not get their returns, including the principal amount, and they were being cheated,” Nimbalkar said.

“So the present case of cheating and the role of bank…there is no relation at all,” the lawyer said. In May, police had filed a 37,000-page charge sheet against Kulkarni and his wife, accusing them of a scam of Rs 2,043.18 crore by floating nine firms to siphon off funds collected from 33,000 investors and fixed-deposit (FD) holders.

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