SRINAGAR, July 3: Special Judge Anti-Corruption Srinagar R N Watal has denied bail to Mohammad Shafi Dar, former Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank, who has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau for his alleged involvement in Rs 223 crore land scam.
After hearing counsel for the petitioner and Special Public Prosecutor for the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the court observed, “it transpires from the police report that petitioner holding a prestigious post of Chairman J&K State Co-operative Bank Ltd under well-knit conspiracy with the self styled Chairman of nonexistent Co-operative Society under the name and style of River Jhelum Co-operative House Building Society Limited and some unknown persons facilitated the preparation of a false, fabricated and fraudulent registration certificate of so called non-existent cooperative society and fraudulently sanctioned loan of Rs 250 crores as financial assistance for taking over 300 Kanals of land located in outskirts of Srinagar for construction of a satellite township throwing the rules, regulations, credit policy of the bank for sanctioning the loan to winds”.
“The accused petitioner is kingpin in the scam and has played a key role in stealing public money from the cooperative bank of UT. Prima facie culpability of petitioner in the scam is manifest from the evidence collected by the prosecution till date”, the court said, adding “the allegations against the petitioner are serious in nature and are incriminating also and demonstrate his unwarranted behaviour unbecoming of a public servant with the impious eye on public money”.
“The investigation in the case is in its embroynic State, officers/ officials of the Cooperative Department who conspired with petitioner are yet to be identified, arrested and investigation qua these persons is going on”, the court said, adding “moreover, the involvement of persons with deep-rooted political and bureaucratic nexus in the scam cannot be ruled out at this stage”.
“We have witnessed number of bank scams in the recent years. The accused involved in these scams have siphoned off the public money, fled the country to escape the civil/criminal liability”, the court further said, adding “our Union Territory is not exception to the activities of these white collar criminals and has witnessed such scams in recent years”.
“Moreover the involvement of petitioner is in economic offences. Such offences are committed with cool calculation and deliberate design with an eye on personal profit regardless of consequences to the society, as such constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail”, the court further said.
With these observations, Special Judge Anti-Corruption said, “I am of the considerate view that the petitioner has failed to carve out a prima facie case for bail as such the application is rejected”.