An amount of Rs 6 lakh which was fraudulently withdrawn from the bank account of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust in Ayodhya has been refunded to the trust by the State Bank of India (SBI).
Secretary of Ram Mandir Trust, Champat Rai, said he had written to the bank demanding refund of money, fraudulently withdrawn from the account.
Manager of SBI Ayodhya branch, Priyanshu Sharma, said, "The fraudsters had produced cloned cheques at the Punjab National Bank (PNB). We have refunded the amount to the temple trust's bank account and will recover the money from the PNB."
The trust has confirmed the refund.
The amount was withdrawn through two cloned cheques with forged signatures of trustees over a 10-day span before the scam was busted during verification of a third fake cheque at the SBI clearing house in Lucknow last week.
Last week, an FIR was lodged in this regard at the Ayodhya Kotwali police station. A team of cyber experts were also asked to investigate the case.
According to the report, money was withdrawn from two banks in Lucknow by cheque cloning.
The matter came to light when the fraudster made a third attempt to withdraw Rs 9.86 lakh from the Bank of Baroda branch.
The bank manager made a verification call to Trust Secretary Champat Rai, who denied having issued any such cheque.
"On further inquiry, it was found that money had been withdrawn earlier, too," said a police official.
A sum of Rs 2.5 lakhs was withdrawn from the bank on September 1 and then a sum of Rs 3.5 lakh, two days later.
Earlier, a fake website that was seeking donations for the Ram temple had come to light a few days ago and the matter was being investigated.
(With IANS inputs)