CBI searches 8 locations in Mumbai, Srinagar, Jammu in bank building purchase irregularities case

CBI searches 8 locations in Mumbai, Srinagar, Jammu in bank building purchase irregularities case

AgenciesUpdated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 09:36 AM IST
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The CBI onTuesday conductedsearches atthepremises of former J&K Bank chairman Haseeb Drabu and some other former top officials in connection with the purchase of the bank's office building in Mumbaiin 2010, and claimed to have recovered "incriminating documents".

The searches were conducted at eightlocations in Mumbai, Srinagar and Jammu after the agency registered an FIR in the purchase of the Akruti Gold Building for around Rs 180 crore by the bank for its integrated office in Mumbai on November 11 last year, officials said.

The FIR was registered following a reference from the Jammu and Kashmir government, they said. The premises of then bank directorsMI Shahdad andVikrant Kuthiala, and former executive director A K Mehta were also searched on Tuesday, the officials said. This is the second searchinthis connection. The four were also members of the estate committee of the bank,they said.

The CBI has alleged that the bank had entered into a deal for its branch office at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) with Akruti Gold at a much higher rate than offered by other shortlisted builders causing a loss of over Rs 100 crore to the bank. The case was earlier probed by the Anti-corruption Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which had registered an FIR following a preliminary inquiry.

The FIR said there was sufficient space available with J&K Bank for functioning of its branch at Bandra Kurla, Zonal Office and Treasury and as such there was no requirement of purchasing any additional accommodation.

"The Zonal OfficeMumbai, Branch Bandra Kurla and Treasury were already functioning in the bank's own buildings. The advertisements issued were for 20,000 sqft and 20,000-30,000 sqft respectively in response to which,the rates offered by Ashapura Builders were Rs 25,000 and Rs 22,000 a sqft," it alleged.

The CBI alleged that as part of a "criminal conspiracy hatched among the officers/officials of J&K Bank and the owners of Akruti Gold BKC", officers of J&K Bank approved purchase of 65,065 sqft at Rs 26,000 per sqft on highly exorbitant consideration of Rs 180.57 crore "in blatant disregard to the tendering process with consequent loss to the bank exchequer."

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