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PostSubject: Ansari Summoned, Bailable Warrants Issued Against Others   Ansari Summoned, Bailable Warrants Issued Against Others Icon_minitimeThu Jan 07, 2010 4:39 am

CB presents challan in Sidhra scam

Ansari Summoned, Bailable Warrants Issued Against Others

Jammu, Jan 6: After about 13 years of investigation, the Crime Branch today presented the challan in the multi-crore scam of New Jammu Township Project against the then Minister for Housing and Urban Development and presently Peoples Democratic Party MLA, Moulvi Iftikar Hussain Ansari; Dr Amjad Abbas Ansari, Jayant Bhuta, Madan Lal Kalra, and D Murlidar.
On perusal of the charge sheet and the attached documents, the Special Judge, Anti-Corruption, JR Kotwal, found sufficient ground to proceed against the accused and to issue process against those not present today.
Given the nature of offences, the judge said, the accused were sought to be prosecuted against by way of issue of arrest warrants in the first instance. However, given that Moulvi Iftikar Hussain Ansari is a sitting MLA, it is apt to issue summons to him through the Secretary, Legislative Assembly, for service to the accused.
He also directed issue of bailable warrants in the amount of Rs 20,000 with one surety in the like amount be issued against accused Dr Amjad Abas Ansari. The accused Jayant Bhuta and Madan Lal Kalra have already been admitted to bail during investigation. However, they were asked to furnish fresh bail bonds each with one surety in the amount of Rs 50,000 each. Another accused, B Murlidhar, is to be produced on the next date of hearing on February 10, 2010 for recording his statement.
As per the evidence collected during investigation, a prima facie case has been made against Maulvi Ansari, as he had allegedly misused his official position amounting to criminal misconduct under section 5(1) (d) of PC Act and offences u/s 467/468/471 420/120-B RPC.
The challan was produced in the court by by the senior superintendent of police, Crime Branch, through CPO, Bhupinder Singh, according to which pima facie case is made out against the accused. Bhuta and Kalra were present while the CB sought issue of process against Molvi Ansari and Dr Ansari on the plea they had not turned up despite service of notices on them.
Proceedings u/s 512 Cr PC were also sought against Dr Murlidhar as all the efforts to trace him during investigation had failed.
According to the challan, a written complaint was lodged with the Police Station, Trikuta Nagar, Jammu, by the then Vice-Chairman, Jammu Development Authority, on June 16, 1998, alleging that his signatures had been forged on a letter purported to have been written by him to M/S IPPL on June 2, 1998. The complainant said the JDA had entered into an agreement with the company and that the forged letter had serious implications necessitating investigation.
After obtaining legal opinion, the SHO, Trikuta Nagar, registered a case u/s 420/511 RPC and subsequently the case was transferred to the Crime Branch on July 20, 1998. During investigation, it has been stated that the JDA, with a view to promoting and securing the development of Jammu Town in accordance with the master plan, had the power to acquire, hold and dispose of land and other property and to carry out building engineering and other operations etc.
R K Handa was the JDA Vice-Chairman from May 1997 to September 2000. The JDA entered into an agreement with M/S IPPL for financing the New Jammu Township Project, Sidhra (SMR Satellite Township). The Authority worked under the direct control of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, which takes major decision through a Board of Directors. PG Dhar Chakraborti was the Commissioner/ Secretary of the department from October 1996 to January 1998, and Pankaj Jain from February 98 to March 1998, while Moulvi Iftikar Hussain Ansari was the minister and also the Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Chakraborti a director of the Board.
On July 23, 1997, the Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd issued a bank guarantee for Rs 4.75 crore at the request of JDA V-C allegedly without adopting the proper procedure and without examining the genuineness of the guarantee format provided by the accused Jayant Bhuta, which was unusual in that it did not mention the borrower’s name and the purpose for which it was given.
During investigation, it has been found that ML Kalra met a prominent member of a spiritual group, Art of Living, Nityanand Trehan. Jayant Bhuta was looking for market for gas business and came to know through Kalra that, because of his wide contacts in Kashmir, Trehan could be used for it. Bhuta introduced himself to Trehan as an NRI and wanted him to accompany him to Jammu and Kashmir.
Trehan, a charted accountant, was the consultant for a number of firms of Moulvi Iftikar Hussain Ansari. Bhuta asked Trehan to be their consultant to prepare detailed project report. Bhuta visited Jammu in December 1996 with Trehan, and called on the then Power Minister, Nisar Ahmad Khan, to discuss the issue of Gas Turbines. Khan sought a proposal on a hydel projects.
The challan said Trehan, along with Bhuta, met Maulvi Ansari in his office. After a few days, Bhuta informed the then H&UD minister on phone that he had discussed the issue with the associates abroad and that they had agreed to offer loan for the township. Ansari called Bhuta to Jammu for discussion after which he met Trehan informing him Moulvi Ansari was keen to arrange funds for development of SMR Township and had sought a formal proposal.
In July 1997 Bhuta wrote to JDA and met the minister. As per initial terms, a loan of Rs 150 crore had to be secured through bank guarantee to be given in US Dollars. Since foreign exchange was involved, the Commissioner/Secretary sought clearance of Govt of India without evoking any response. At this, Bhuta, in his revised proposal, asked for bank guarantee in Indian currency and asked for for separate bank guarantee to cover the interest to be issued along with the main bank guarantee. The Minister allegedly asked for consideration for his efforts which Bhuta agreed.
The challan said a conspiracy was hatched. Bhuta came up with a unique proposal and asked a bank guarantee to cover one year interest @ 9.5 per cent on the first installment of loan of Rs 50 crore which M/S IPPL were to give to JDA. The minister agreed and called a meeting at his house on July 18, 1997. Bhuta promised that the bank guarantee would not be used till the payment of first installment was paid by him.
Investigation revealed that armed with the bank guarantee for Rs 4.75 crore, Bhutha got in touch with M/S Klen and Marshallas through a business associate, Vinod Kapasi of Bombay. M/S Klen & Marshallas had several ongoing projects and were in infrastructure related business. This firm had been sanctioned credit by the ICICI, Chennai, one of which was discounting of third party bills.
It was found that soon Bhuta started looking around for partners to help him raise money so that he could get the JDA deal. Greasing the palms was the immediate need to get the contract. JDA wanted funds for satellite township project.
In the 39-page challan, the investigation revealed that out of proceeds of bank guarantee, Bhutha paid Rs 9.20 lakh to Kalra, in whose account Rs two lakh stand credited as marked, while Rs 4.20 lakh were allegedly received by Kalra through his son, Ashish Kalra.
The investigation found that Bhuta paid Rs two lakh to James Novo of M/S Klen & Marshallas, Bangalore and executed a deal with Kartik Patel, Krishan Kant, R Rao of Khayati Group, Ahmedabad, for purchase of land in Ahmedabad. From the disclosed facts, it is amply clear that Bhuta and Kalra had no intention to organize fund by using bank guarantee and meeting the expenses to arrange the loan for JDA. The proceeds of bank guarantee have been utilized for quite a different purpose.
In the process, they caused wrongful gain for themselves as well as for Murlidhar, James Novo and others. In this deal, the JDA had to pay Rs 4.75 lakh as commission for J&K Bank guarantee of Rs 4.75 crore. The Authority had also to pay Rs 42.75 lakh as commission to J&K Bank for Rs 57 crore bank guarantee.
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