Mumbai: In a major setback for high-profile city BJP leader Mohit Kamboj (39), a special CBI court has refused to accept the closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a case of alleged fraud filed against him.
Kamboj and nine others were accused of defrauding the Central Bank of India to the tune of ₹103.81 crores. The court has asked the CBI to carry out further investigation. The court noted that prima facie, a case of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery was "fully established against all the accused".
Metropolitan magistrate, Jaywant Yadav while rejecting the closure report has observed that, "If the final report is considered, it is incomplete as to investigation into no actual transactions of sale/purchase of goods, showing falsely the debtors/creditors of sale/purchase of goods, intentional misrepresentation done as to infusion of equity capital, share capital in the balance sheet of accused company and the balance sheet submitted to the informant bank, forging the documents falsely showing sale/purchase transactions with some of the associates firms/companies and using those documents as genuine one with the informant bank, wrongfully gaining funds, misusing funds through the bank other than the consortium banks."
The court said, prima-facie the accused are liable to be prosecuted for the alleged offences. “I hold that prima facie offences punishable under sections 120 (B), 417, 420, 467, 468 and 471 appear to have been committed. But investigation is not sufficient," the court observed.
"Criminal act of the accused is required to be dealt with"
"The criminal act of the accused is required to be dealt with, as public money is misused by forging documents and cheating the nationalized bank that is Central Bank of India to the tune of crores of rupees," the court observed.
The CBI had registered a case against Kamboj and a firm namely Tenet Exim Pvt Limited along with the firm's other directors namely Jitendra Kapoor, Naresh Kapoor, Siddhant Bagla, Irtesh Mishra and three others. The case was registered in June 2020, on the complaint of Central Bank of India alleging cheating.
It was claimed that Tenet Exim through its directors, M/s. KBJ Developers, Corporate Guarantor, M/s. Rudraksha Motors Private Limited (Corporate guarantor), Mohit Kamboj, (CMD and Guarantor), Jitendra Kapoor, (Director and guarantor), Naresh M. Kapoor (Director), Siddhant R. Bagla (Director),Hitesh Mishra (Director), and M/s. Lalit and Surendra Chartered Accountants, submitting false documents availed credit facility of ₹50 Crores from the Bank. Bank claimed that accused persons dishonestly diverted the funds and caused the wrongful loss to the bank to the tune of ₹103.81 crores, which was settled at ₹94.39 crores after a one time settlement in February 2020.
The bank had approached the forensic auditor after Tenet Exim's loan account turned NPA. The auditor declared the account of Tenet Exim as fraud on December 29, 2018. Followed by this, the bank filed a case in June 2020, complying with RBI's guidelines.
CBI's statement while closing the case
The CBI while closing the case said, "sales/purchase transactions of the borrower company with other companies found to be correct. During the course of Investigation, no evidence of misrepresentation, mis-statement about the amount of unsecured loan infused/infusion of share capital of money found regarding number of shares in balance sheets of accused borrower company."
The agency said there were some discrepancies in the form of minor mismatches between ledger books of some debtors. "Some debtors' realisation has not been received through the CC account of the borrower company with the informant bank, but through another account of Union Bank of India which itself is not incriminatory in absence of other evidence in this regard."
Further, the agency said the firm sattled the matter with the bank. Besides, the CBI said, "the Lead Bank i.e. SBI having credit exposure of 58.33% has not declared the account as a 'fraud' based on Forensic Audit Report carried out by them. Hence, there is lack of sufficient evidence on record to prosecute accused borrower company and its directors."
Bank files no objection to closure report
Meanwhile, the Bank, on the other hand, filed a no objection to closure of the case as they had settled the account with the firm and had withdrawn all the cases against it and its directors.
The court refused to consider the no objection and observed that, Informant contended about the fraud committed by the accused on the basis of the forensic report but as a one -time settlement withdrew all the cases without affecting the criminal proceedings. The court said the Bank also wanted to challenge the report but gave no objection. Hence, the court said, it cannot be said that the bank gave blanket no objection to accept the report. Kamboj came to Mumbai from Varanasi and in a short period became president of the Indian Bullion & Jewellery Association. He unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly election on a BJP ticket from Dindoshi and declared assets worth ₹353.53 crores.