The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered a corruption case in Police Station Anti Corruption Bureau in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district against Deputy Mayor Srinagar, Shiekh Imran, who is Director M/S Kehwa Square PrivateLimited, officers of J&K Bank and government officialsfor illegal appropriation of subsidy with inflated project cost for establishment of CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama.
A spokesman of ACB said Case FIR No. 3/2019 u under section 5(1) (d) P.C Act Samvat 2006, punishable u/S 5(2) of the Act r/w 420 & 120-B RPC was registered in Police Station Anti Corruption Bureau, South Kashmir (Anantnag) against Shiekh Imran Director M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. BohriKadal Srinagar, officers of J&K Bank and other government officials for illegal appropriation of subsidy with inflated project cost for establishment of CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama .
He said during verification conducted by ACB Kashmir, it came to light that Sheikh Imran, Director Kehwa Group of Companies has submitted a proposal/ DPR to J&K Bank for establishment of CA storage under the name and style of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. at Lassipora, Pulwama.
“As per the norms of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), a Joint Inspection Team (JIT) of various experts and government officials in association with Shiekh Imran Director M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltdconducted spot inspection of the site .The assessed cost of the project to Rs. 33.00 crores with the subsidy component thereof calculated to Rs. 16.50 crores i.e. 50% of estimated project cost (EPC), purportedly as per the norms of Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan (HMNEH) States was sent to empowered monitoring committee of MIDH, Govt. of India, for final approval,” he said.
The spokesman said subsequent to its approval, the State Government also constituted a Committee which did spot inspection and physical verification and recommended release of subsidy as per norms without altering or amending the component wise value of machinery and civil works, etc.
“As per norms, the subsidy component, after its release by the National Horticulture Board (NHB), the same was required to be kept in a separate account by the credit provider Bank termed as subsidy reserve fund with detailed terms and conditions for adjustment of the subsidy,” he said.
According to spokesman during inquiry, it came to light that M/S Kehwa Group has 6 more business units.
“Sheikh Imran has raised varied loan facilities/ ODs (overdrafts) for these business units. The liabilities on account of loan accumulated to Rs. 138 crores. Since, one of the company Kehwa Square had turned NPA including its sister business concerns, Sheikh Imran sought one time settlement with J&K Bank authorities. The bank finally granted wave off liabilities of Rs33 crores. Pursuant to the one time settlement, M/S Kehwa group was asked to deposit Rs105 crores in two installments with the first installment of Rs50 crores to be paid by 25.03.2017,” he said.
The spokesman said the inquiry reveals that in order to usurp the subsidy component under the garb of promoting Horticulture activity/storage facility with the connivance of the Horticulture Officers and Bank Officials, the proprietor of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd (Sheikh Imran and his partners)declared the CA Store as NPA without paying even a single installment towards the bank while the cost of the project assessed subsequently during inquiry by ACB was found much lower than the projected cost.”
The inquiry, he said, reveals that this criminal design of Imran and his partners was actually executed with the active support of theofficials of J&K Bank through business unit namely M/S Go Fresh whose proprietor/s Nadeem Ahmad Mayar (Qasba) was roped in to seek a loan term of Rs 36.10 crores with arrangement of margin money of Rs1.90 crores in lieu of the proposed transfer of the lease / property rights of this mortgaged business unit i.e. CA Store Lassipora in his favour.
“The proprietor(s) of M/S Go Fresh Nadeem Ahmad Mayar obtained the loan amount of Rs. 36.10 Crores and physically took over the operation of the CA storage business unit without formal transfer of assets / liabilities in his favour. Ironically, the bank authorities extended the loan facility to the proposed buyer on the same property, which was already under hypothecation with the bank as asset of the principal borrower i.e M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd,” he said.
The ACB spokesman said inquiry has revealed that M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltdsought further concessions from the J&K bank subsequent to the first OTS (One Time Settlement). “The concessions were sought by it surreptitiously and consented to by the bank authorities whereof the second installment of Rs. 55 crores duly payable after the first OTS was further reduced to Rs. 27 crores”.
“During inquiry it has come to fore that M/S Kehwa Group in furtherance of a well knit conspiracy with respective Government agencies and bank authorities under the garb of NPA and OTS/s in mutual conspiracy illegally benefitted the proprietor/s of M/S Kehwa Group with illegal appropriation of subsidy amount of Rs. 16.50 crores and layering of various transactions,” he said.
The spokesman said it is established that the M/S Kehwa Group has got their loan of Rs. 138 crores with J&K Bank, restructured for merely an amount of Rs. 78 crores and under a well knit conspiracy Sheikh Imran and partners of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. was extended with covert / overt support by Officers of J&K Bank and Joint Inspection Team, dishonestly and fraudulently, who by abuse and misuse of their official position as public servants conferred undue pecuniary / monetary advantage on M/S Kehwa Group of Companies thereby causing illegal appropriation of crores of rupees from State exchequer, for personal motives.
“The investigation has been set into motion and further action as per law is in process,” he added.