A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Monday convicted seven persons, including four former employees of SBI in a case of defrauding the bank’s Opera House branch of Rs. 90 lakhs in 2010.
The complaint had been lodged by an official of the bank as fabricated documents were used to secure the credit. Among those sentenced are a woman Zarina Batliwala alias Nargis Divendry who was convicted earlier by another court in 2018 in yet another fraud case concerning Bank of Baroda. Then, the court had ordered her to pay Rs. 16 lakhs as fine.
On Monday, 59-year-old Divendry was sentenced to five-years-imprisonment. She will get a set-off as the Dombivli resident has been in custody since 2011. She was fined Rs. 1,000 - the lowest among her co-accused.
One Vijay Sheth, who had allegedly helped arrange fabricated documents for Batliwala and himself to get the loan, had died pending trial, said prosecutor Jitendra Kumar Sharma. The trial against him had abated. Dnyaneshwar Sawant, who prepared the forged KYC and other documents was sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of Rs. 10,000.
Then Assistant General Manager Neela Samant, 60 and Jayant Bijapurkar, the then Assistant Vice President (Credit) who both allegedly appraised the loan proposal were sentenced to one year and two years imprisonment respectively and imposed a fine of Rs. 20 lakhs. Utsav Prasad, Customer Support Officer of the bank who allegedly did not verify the documents and forwarded them, was sentenced to three-years-jail and a fine of Rs. 20 lakhs. Nandkumar Karnik, deputy manager was sentenced to one-year-jail and Rs. 60,000 fine. He, as a retired bank employee, had given a false declaration that he knew Divendry and Sheth and helped them open the account.
Another bank employee Ram Morey - who was manager credit, too forwarded the proposal without adverse remarks overlooking discrepancies, was fined Rs. 23 lakhs and has been sentenced to a year in jail. One accused, a then AGM, was acquitted.