JAAMU: A CBI court on Thursday granted bail to two suspended J&K Bank officials booked in the Rs 177-crore loan disbursement scam case in which the son of former J&K finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather is the main accused.
The two officials who were granted bail are Arun Kumar and Ikbal Singh. While Kumar was the Samba cluster head of the bank, Singh was the bank’s Jammu University branch head at the time of disbursal of the loan. While granting them relief, the special CBI judge observed that the petitioners were entitled to be released as the main accused in the case, Hilal Rather, has already been granted bail by the J&K high court.
The CBI court also ordered the petitioners to furnish surety bonds of Rs 2 lakh and bonds of personal recognizance of Rs 5 lakh each. The court then directed them to not leave the territorial jurisdiction of the court without prior permission.
On March 5, 2020, CBI had taken over the probe in the case. It was alleged that Hilal had taken a loan from J&K Bank for his ambitious township project, Paradise Avenue, at Narwal Bala in Jammu in 2012 when his father was the finance minister of the erstwhile state. The loan was sanctioned without submitting any collateral and the money was diverted from his bank account.
The account turned non-performing asset in 2017. During investigation, the Anti-Corruption Bureau reported that funds worth over Rs 26 crore were diverted from the account for the purchase of expensive gift items and holidays, and hosting shows of TV and film celebrities. ACB had also found that money was allegedly transferred to a Dubai bank account for purchase of at least three properties there.
In spite of non-payment of the first loan, three more term loans were granted by the bank, taking the total loan amount to Rs 177.68 crore, which remained unpaid and the bank management abused its official position to have a one-time settlement, waiving Rs 50 crore from the outstanding dues.