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Pune police arrest Bank of Maharashtra chief in DS Kulkarni case

Marathe was arrested for alleged misusing of power in sanctioning loans to shell companies of the bank.

June 21, 2018 / 11:33 AM IST
 
 
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Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) CEO and Managing Director Ravindra Marathe along with five others have been arrested for extending fraudulent loans to Pune-based DSK Group, police said.

Besides Marathe, BoM Executive Director Rajendra Gupta, DSK chartered accountant Sunil Ghatpande and DSK VP Engineering Department Rajiv Newaskar were arrested from Pune while ex-CMD Sushil Muhnoot was arrested from Jaipur. The bank’s Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande was arrested from Ahmedabad, the police said in a statement.

Marathe was arrested for allegedly misusing his power in sanctioning loans to shell companies. The bank had given loan on the same property three to four times, sources said.

The arrests were made under sections 120(B), 406, 409, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 109 r/w 34 IPC & 13(1)(c) r/w 13(2) of the PC Act.

According to a police statement, the bank officers colluded with DSKDL by misusing their power and authority with dishonest and fraudulent intention to sanction and disburse the amount of bank under the garb of loan which was siphoned off.

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Marathe was appointed as the MD and Chief Executive Officer of the bank in September 2016, while Gupta was appointed as the executive director of the bank in December 2013.

In February, the Pune police had detained embattled developer DS Kulkarni and his wife in New Delhi in a cheating case after the Bombay High Court lifted an interim protection from arrest given to them. Kulkarni was also arrested for allegedly cheating investors.

Kulkarni and his wife Hemanti were booked by the Pune Police for allegedly cheating over 2,500 investors to the tune of Rs 230 crore.

In March, NSE and BSE had suspended trading of DS Kulkarni Developers Ltd shares following a directive from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in a case related to alleged diversion of funds.

In further development, a Pune court granted seven days police custody to Marathe, Gupta, chartered accountant Ghatpande and Newaskar.

The former CMD of the bank, who was arrested in Jaipur, is expected to reach Pune on June 21, when the police will produce him in court along with zonal manager Deshpande.

In court, the public prosecutor alleged that the bank officials had misused their position and sanctioned Rs 60 crore loan to DSK group in two tranches.

The funds were allegedly diverted by Kulkarni for renovating his home. Nonetheless, the defense lawyer argued that the loans were sanctioned after due diligence and it is unfair to say that the bank officials had misused their position.

Bank of Maharashtra said in a statement, "Bank’s total outstanding exposure to M/s D S Kulkarni Developers Limited is to the tune of Rs 94.52 crores which is fully secured by primary and collateral securities.

“Recovery process like SARFAESI action has already been initiated by the bank and some of the properties are due for auction. Bank has also declared M/s DSK Developers Limited and its promoters as wilful defaulters. Loans sanctioned to firm are as per Bank’s lending norms."

Note: This article has been updated to incorporate latest developments.
Tarun Sharma
first published: Jun 20, 2018 02:40 pm

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