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Our Financial Bureau/
So far as the investigation to Srijan scam progress, the officer concerned in the investigating agencies raised their figures on the suspected role of bank of Boroda, Bhagalpur branch here. Even CBI officials who have started the investigation, express serious concerned over the role of the bank which didn’t even mind to verify properly the signatures of account holders, mainly the district magistrates during clearing of cheques over crores of rupees earlier.
Even a common man subjected to be harassed by the bank employees for verifying signature on the cheque while withdrawal of very little amount, but the concerned bankers of the branch never minded to verify the signatures of the district magistrates during transactions of crores of government money frequently at that time, remarked a SIT official who was in the team for probing the case. Earlier a FIR was constituted by district treasury officer with Kotwali PS (505/017) in which it was alleged that with the fake signatures of some of the district magistrates like Santosh Kumar Mall, Bipin Kumar, crores of government money was transferred to Srijan NGO’s account from this branch.
The officer claimed that the all the big transactions during the scam were always done through the bank but the bank never raised any objections on the signatures of the district magistrates on the cheques at that time. On dated January 29, 2011 the account of district nazarat, Bhagalpur was opened at the branch (A/C 10010100012588) and deposited Rs 40 crores with two cheques. The cheques were deposited with the signatures of the than DM, Bhagalpur, Narmadeshwar Lal but during the investigation it was found that Rs 20 crore was withdrawn from the account by the fake signature of Lal. “How the bank was failed to identify the fake signature when it was a big amount?” question raised. Many similar incidents were reported during the time of others DMs also, the source pointed out.
Observers blamed the management of bank of Boroda for such types of failure which resultant drained out of huge government money illegally. The observers here pointed out the incident on 2015 when some senior officials at a Delhi branch of this bank were arrested by CBI and ED teams in connection with suspected illegal remittances of more than Rs 6,000/- crores through that branch to abroad. “Had the management of the bank taken lesson from the incident and had it tightened its grip over the erring employees, Bhagalpur branch would not have the opportunity to play the wrong game in the tunes of Srijan NGO,” the observers remarked.
CBI officials reportedly annoyed with the bank officials as they failed to provide some documents in time. A source said that the CBI officials virtually scolded some of the bankers and told them to give in writing about the signatures, fake or original. They even asked the bankers to mention how such incident had taken place and the write down the names of the persons responsible for it, the source disclosed.
Apart from bank of Boroda, many bankers of bank of India also came under the radar of CBI after discloser of some accounts of Srijan in it. CBI team reached to the branch of the bank on yesterday, despite Sunday it was opened. The CBI team conducted enquiry in the banks about the previous transactions with Srijan related issues.
However, not a single official concerned at bank of Boroda was ready to open mouth in this connection. A retired banker however on condition of anonymity alleged that the investigating agencies unnecessary trying to drag the responsibility of the scam on the bankers. “From the first day, the scam was unearthed, administrative offices targeted bankers just to save their skins. DM, Bhagalpur had started claiming openly to get back all the government money that were drained out from the banks. And the investigating agencies with full prejudices, diverted the investigation,” he alleged. But when asked about the arrested bankers like Ajay Pandey ( a clerk at Indian bank and whose arresting first in the case, opened many points), the former banker remained tightlipped.