Former Syndicate Bank CMD received Rs1.25 crore bribe from firm: CBI
New Delhi: Former Syndicate Bank chairman S. K. Jain received over Rs1.25 crore in 2014 from a middleman for clearing the external commercial borrowings proposals of $20 million of Prakash Industries Limited, the CBI has alleged.
The agency arrested Jain that year after it recovered Rs50 lakh allegedly from his brother-in-law which the CBI had claimed to be bribe money from another company Bhushan Steel. It had registered two cases against him related to alleged bribes received from Prakash Industries Limited and Bhushan Steel.
Sources in the agency had claimed after the arrest that bribes received from Prakash Industries Limited are under probe. In a charge sheet filed before a special court here recently, the agency charged Jain, the then chairman cum managing director of PIL Ved Prakash Agarwal, the company’s consultant Vipul Agarwal, chartered accountant Pawan Bansal and Jain’s brother-in-law Vineet Godha among others under sections related to criminal conspiracy and corruption.
During the probe, the CBI claimed to have unearthed that a total illegal gratification of over Rs1.25 crore was paid to Jain by a chartered accountant who also acted as a middleman on behalf of Prakash Industries Limited, the sources said. In its charge sheet, the CBI told the special judge of Patiala House court that Jain, Agarwal, Vipul, Bansal and Godha had entered into a criminal conspiracy to get clearance for loan proposals of $20 million.
“Bansal as middleman persuaded external commercial borrowings proposals of $20 million of Prakash Industries Limited with Syndicate Bank,” the agency alleged. The company had applied for the facility in March, 2014, it said. The CBI also claimed that during its probe it found that Bansal had delivered Rs1.25 crore to Jain through Godha in Bhopal. It alleged that Bansal used his personal influence over Jain in getting approval of loan proposal and obtained illegal gratification from PIL.
Jain was arrested by the CBI on 2 August, 2014 on charges of receiving a bribe of Rs50 lakh to clear credit facilities of Bhushan Steel. The CBI sources had said in 2014 that while Rs50 lakh was taken from Bhushan Steel for not declaring loans of nearly Rs100 crore as non-performing assets, a similar deal was struck with Prakash Industries Limited but the amount of bribe was being investigated.
The sources had said that the deal was allegedly struck through Bansal, one of the directors of Altius Finserve Ltd, who made the payment to Jain but the agency missed the opportunity to nab him at the time of the transaction. Both the companies had denied involvement in the case after the FIR was registered against them in 2014.
During searches, the CBI claimed to have seized Rs21 lakh in cash and gold worth Rs1.68 crore from the premises of the Syndicate Bank CMD, besides fixed-deposit receipts for about Rs63 lakh. Both the companies had denied involvement in the case after the FIR was registered against them.
Jain, 57, was appointed CMD of state-owned Syndicate Bank in July, 2013 for a period of five years. He was one of the youngest CMDs of a public sector bank and was due to retire in 2020. The Union finance ministry had suspended him after receiving reports from the CBI.