A special court has sentenced two women, both senior citizens now, to two years of rigorous imprisonment for a 23-year-old bank fraud in which the accused cheated Dena Bank, Kalbadevi branch of over ₹2.35 crores.
While one of the women Vijaya Nair, 66 was a bank official who was suspended from service after the incident came to light, another was Nargis Diventry, 70 who had stood as guarantor for a bogus firm. The court considered while sentencing Diventry that she is a septuagenarian undergoing sentences in other offences and that she could not even engage an advocate and was provided a state advocate.
Loss of ₹2.35 crore caused to Dena Bank
An 82-year bank officer, part of the fraud, V. Radhakrishnan was also sentenced to the same punishment. The court considered his age too and that he is not keeping in good health and suffers from various ailments.
Special CBI judge DP Shingade said in the judgment that it must be pointed out that a huge amount of ₹2.35 crores is involved and a wrongful loss of the amount is caused to Dena Bank. There cannot be two opinions that bank money is public money, the court said, emphasising that these crimes are heinous in nature as they tend to destroy the economic fabric and financial edifice of the state.
Trial went on for 19 years
It said further that such offences are occurring in plenty and they have resulted in stultifying the overall growth of the nation and have caused tremendous impairment to the economy of the nation. However, it also considered that the chargesheet was submitted in 2003 and the trial has gone on for a long period of 19 years.
The senior manager Vijay Sawant died pending trial. Among those convicted was also branch manager Shrikant Padale. The court said Padale being the manager was the watchdog of all the transactions in the bank and amount of public and the bank and other two accused were also officers of the bank.
It said banking is a commercial activity founded on the edifice of the trust. It is a public financial institution and officers of the bank are custodian of public funds, Judge Shingade said and added that the accused were expected to act in the best interest of the bank and it is clear that the accused persons hatched the criminal
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