Case registered by ACB against Dy Mayor SMC, JK bank officers

JK Bank

Srinagar: The anti-corruption bureau has registered a case against deputy mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation Shiekh Imran, for illegal appropriation of subsidy with inflated project cost for establishment of CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama

ACB has has registered a case FIR No. 3/2019 under section 5(1) (d) P.C Act Samvat 2006, punishable u/S 5(2) of the Act r/w 420 & 120-B RPC in Police Station Anti Corruption Bureau, South Kashmir  against Director M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. BohriKadal Srinagar, officers of J&K Bank and other Govt officials for illegal appropriation of subsidy with inflated project cost for establishment of CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama.

During verification conducted by Anti Corruption Bureau Kashmir, it came to light that one Sheikh Imran, Director Kehwa Group of Companies has submitted a proposal / DPR to J&K Bank for the establishment of CA storage under the name and style of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. at Lassipora, Pulwama. As per the norms of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), a Joint Inspection Team (JIT) of various experts and government officials in association with Shiekh Imran Director M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. conducted spot inspection of the site. The assessed cost of the project to Rs. 33.00 crores with the subsidy component thereof calculated to Rs. 16.50 crores i.e. 50% of estimated project cost (EPC), purportedly as per the norms of Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan (HMNEH) States was sent to empowered monitoring committee of MIDH, Govt. of India, for final approval. Subsequent to its approval, the State Government also constituted a Committee which did spot inspection and physical verification and recommended release of subsidy as per norms without altering or amending the component-wise value of machinery and civil works, etc. As per norms, the subsidy component, after its release by the National Horticulture Board (NHB), the same was required to be kept in a separate account by the credit provider Bank termed as subsidy reserve fund with detailed terms and conditions for adjustment of the subsidy.

During the enquiry, it also came to light that M/S Kehwa Group has 06 more business units. Sheikh Imran has raised varied loan facilities / ODs (overdrafts) for these business units. The liabilities on account of loan accumulated to Rs. 138 crores. Since, one of the companies Kehwa Square had turned NPA including its sister business concerns, Imran sought a one-time settlement with J&K Bank authorities.

The bank finally granted wave off liabilities of Rs.33 crores. Pursuant to the one-time settlement, M/S Kehwa group was asked to deposit Rs. 105 crores in two installments with the first installment of Rs. 50 crores to be paid by 25.03.2017.

The enquiry further reveals that in order to usurp the subsidy component under the garb of promoting Horticulture activity/storage facility with the connivance of the Horticulture Officers and Bank Officials, the proprietor of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. Shri Sheikh Imran and his partners to declare the CA Store as NPA without paying even a single installment towards the bank while as the cost of the project assessed subsequently during an enquiry by ACB was found much lower than the projected cost.

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