Wednesday, June 20, 2018

EOW arrests Bank of Maharashtra MD

Ravindra P. Marathe,
the Chairman and MD of Bank of Maharashtran


PUNE: In a sudden development, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) here arrested Ravindra P. Marathe, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Maharashtra, in a case of Rs 30 billion fraudulent loans extended to Pune's DSK Group, an official said here on today.

The EOW has also arrested the bank's Executive Director Rajendra K. Gupta, Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande from Ahmedabad and former CMD Sushil Muhnot from Jaipur. The 83-year-old Pune-headquartered Bank of Maharashtra is ranked among the major public sector banks in India.

The bank's present Chairman and MD Ravindra Marathe, Executive Director Rajendra Gupta, Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande, bank's former CMD Sushil Muhnot, Kulkarni's CA Sunil Ghatpande, and vice president Rajiv Newaskar of the engineering department of Kulkarni's firm, D S Kulkarni Developers Ltd (DSKDL), were arrested, the official added.

While Deshpande was arrested from Ahmedabad, Muhnot was picked up from Jaipur. All others were arrested from Pune, the police said. They were booked under various sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In May, the city police had filed a 37,000-page charge-sheet against Kulkarni and his wife in the case. "As part of our probe into the cheating case against Kulkarni, it came to light that these bank officials colluded with DSKDL by misusing their powers and authority with dishonest and fraudulent intention to sanction and disburse the amount under the garb of a loan," said Sudhir Hiremath, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber and Economic Offences). All the accused are being produced in the court today, he said.

Marathe has been arrested for allegedly misusing his powers to sanction huge amounts of loans to shell companies. According to the investigators, the bank executive and officials colluded with the DSK Group "with dishonest and fraudulent intentions to sanction and disburse the amount of the bank (BoM)" under the garb of loans and the money was later siphoned off.

All the arrested accused have been charged under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and other laws pertaining to cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and breach of trust. The Pune-based mega group's owners D.S. Kulkarni and his wife Hemanti were arrested in February on charges of cheating over 4,000 investors of over Rs 11.5 billon and diverting bank loans of nearly Rs 29 billion.

As a follow-up in the case, last month, the Maharashtra government had ordered attachment of more than 120 properties, 275 bank accounts and four dozen vehicles belonging to the owners and the company invoking the provisions of Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors Act, 1999.


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