BoM’s CMD, top officials arrested

Prateek Goyal
Thursday, 21 June 2018

 “Rajendra Gupta, Executive Director of  Bank along with Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande  and bank’s former CMD Sushil Muhnot have taken the undue advantage of their positions and illegally approved  Rs 100 crore loan to DSK Group for their ‘Dream City’ project. The bank officials were hand in glove with the members of DSKDL including  DS Kulkarni, his wife Hemanti Kulkarni, his son Shirish Kulkarni, Dhananjay Pachpor, Vinaykumar Badgandi and brainstormed a conspiracy in which they violated the rules.” 

A consortium of nationalised banks including Bank of Maharashtra has disbursed Rs 337 crore to DSKDL . According to the remand report produced in the court by investigating officer Nilesh More, ACP, EOW,  “Rajendra Gupta, Executive Director of  Bank along with Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande  and bank’s former CMD Sushil Muhnot have taken the undue advantage of their positions and illegally approved  Rs 100 crore loan to DSK Group for their ‘Dream City’ project. The bank officials were hand in glove with the members of DSKDL including  DS Kulkarni, his wife Hemanti Kulkarni, his son Shirish Kulkarni, Dhananjay Pachpor, Vinaykumar Badgandi and brainstormed a conspiracy in which they violated the rules.” 

Pune: Three senior officials of Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) including its Chairman and Managing Director Ravindra Marathe have been arrested along with three others by the Economic Offences Wing of Pune police for their alleged role in multi-crore DSK fraud case.

Beside Marathe, police have also arrested Bank of Maharashtra’s Executive Director RK Gupta and Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande (arrested from Ahmadabad). The other three arrested include BOM’s former CMD Sushil Muhnot (arrested from Jaipur), Sunil Ghatpande Chartered Accountant of DSKDL and Rajiv Newaskar, Vice-President of Engineering Department of DSKDL.

According to police the bank officials were in hand-in-glove with the officials of DSKDL and sanctioned loans illegally to them with fraudulent intentions. They have been arrested under sections 120(B), 406, 409, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 109 r/w 34 IPC & 13(1)(c) r/w 13(2) of the PC Act.

“Bank officers colluded with DSKDL by misusing their power and authority with dishonest and fraudulent intention to sanction and disburse the amount of bank under the garb of loan which was siphoned off,” claimed an officer.

As per the remand report, the accused sanctioned the amount of Rs 100 crore to DSKDL’s Dream City project through a consortium of banks including SBI, UBI, Syndicate, IDBI, Vijaya Bank and Bank of Maharashtra without informing the consortium.

Shekhar Sonalkar, Forensic Auditor in the DSK fraud case, said, “Officials of BoM not only approved Ra 100 crore loan without informing the consortium but they also disbursed the amount of Rs 80 crore to DSK Group. It is significant to note that despite having a credit rating of ‘–C’ DSK Group was given the loan of such a huge amount. 

Out of Rs 80 crore disbursed to DSK Group, Rs 50 crore was disbursed in March 2016, Rs 20 crore in July 2016 and Rs 10 crore was disbursed in March 2017.

It is significant to note that in the year 2016-2017, out of 514 employees of DSK Group 259 resigned due to the irregularities in the payment of salaries, but despite that loan was sanctioned to the company. Even DSK’s son Shirish Kulkarni submitted his resignation.

Despite being aware of the financial status of the company, the loans were provided to them by Marathe, Gupta, Muhnot and Deshpande. Though the loan was sanctioned by Gupta, Muhnot and Deshpande, it was the job of Marathe to check the irregularities as he was the final sanctioning authority of the bank to approve loans.

More said, “We have to investigate the motive and intentions behind sanctioning of such a huge loan to DSKDL by the bank officials despite knowing the fraudulent financial status of the company.”

Pravin Chavan, Public Prosecutor in the case, said, “The consortium of banks including SBI, Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank, Union Bank, UBI and IDBI sanctioned the loans to DSKDL on the basis of fake certificates prepared by Ghatpande, who was the chartered accountant of the DSK Group. They didn’t even bother to check the direction of money flow because of which money was siphoned off to other companies owned by the DSK Group. They have violated each and every rule and guideline of the Reserve Bank of India.”

According to sources, it’s not only BoM which has disbursed the amount of Rs 80 crore to DSKDL, the consortium of banks together has approved the loan of Rs 600 crore and have disbursed Rs 337 crore to DSKDL including the Rs 80 crore disbursed by BoM. 

Sudhir Hiremath, DCP, EOW informed that Marathe, Gupta, Ghatpande and Newaskar have been remanded to police custody whereas Deshpande and Munhot have been given transit remand. Both of them will come from Ahmadabad and Jaipur respectively with the team of EOW.

Accused arrested  
There are 19 accused in DSK fraud case including 13 of DSK’s family and relatives. The total number of accused arrested till now is 13 including bank officials. 

Fraud in a nutshell
 Forensic auditors investigating 129 accounts of DSKDL in connection with the fraud related to ‘Dream City’ project of DSK.
 In the year 2016-17, around 1,220 BOM cheques of the depositors of the DSKDL bounced. Up till now 6,000 cheques of the DSK Group have been bounced.
 15 banks showed non-performing assets of DSK but still BoM and other banks in the consortium provided loan worth crores of rupees to the DSK Group.
 DSKL did not deposit its own share in the loan account and still, the nationalised banks went ahead with the loans.

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