Corruption in banking institutions retards nation-building: Court
A Delhi court has sent two persons, including a former bank manager, to three years in jail for cheating a public sector bank of over Rs 184 crore 24...
New Delhi: A Delhi court has sent two persons, including a former bank manager, to three years in jail for cheating a public sector bank of over Rs 1.84 crore 24 years ago, saying banking corruption retards the process of nation building and affects the social fabric.
Special CBI Judge Kamini Lau also slapped a fine of Rs 3.10 lakh on each of the two convicts and said that corruption is a mammoth problem and almost every facet of public activity is affected by the "stink of corruption".
"Corruption if treated leniently with a kid-glove only seeks to demoralise the honest officers," the court said. "Banks which are repositories of public money, are the backbone of the national economy.
Corruption in the banking institutions and activities have a deep and pervasive impact on the functioning of the nation.
It retards the nation-building activities and shakes the social fabric of the society," the court said.
The court awarded three years of rigorous jail term each to former chief manager of Oriental Bank of Commerce S K Pathrella (65) and director of a private firm Pradeep Anand (57), saying the courts should impose befitting punishment to meet the challenge of corruption in public institutions, especially, the financial institutions to impress a public abhorrence to the crime.
According to the CBI, Anand and two others, under a conspiracy, presented bogus bills at New Friends Colony Branch of Oriental Bank of Commerce in 1994 for discounts.
It said Pathrella knowing that these bills were bogus and not supported by genuine trade transactions, discounted the same and credited the proceeds in the respective accounts and allowed them to withdraw the amounts.
"Convicts Pathrella and Anand had hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the Oriental Bank of Commerce, New Friends Colony and caused a loss to the public exchequer to the tune of approximately Rs 1,84,99,007.30. Both the convicts were instrumental in hatching the entire conspiracy," the court noted.
The two convicts had sought a lenient view in sentence on medical grounds and to support their families.
The court, however, acquitted three other accused as the prosecution was not been able to prove the charges against them beyond reasonable doubt.