2 senior officials suspended in Rs 250-cr bank fraud case

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The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday suspended two senior officials pending an inquiry into their conduct in a case pertaining to Rs 250-crore bank fraud, officials said

The administration suspended Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officer Mujib-ur-Rehman Ghassi, Special Secretary to the Government, Industries and Commerce Department, and Ashiq Hussian, Deputy Registrar Cooperative Societies J-K, pending an inquiry against them, they said.

The officials said two separate suspension orders were issued on Saturday against the officials by the General Administration Department (GAD).

The officials said Ghassi will remain attached with the GAD during the period of his suspension, while Hussain shall remain attached in the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.

The names of both the officials were mentioned in a case, registered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on August 25, related to Rs 250 crore loan to a non-existent cooperative housing society two years ago.

The ACB produced a charge-sheet against three persons, including a former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Bank, for sanctioning a Rs 250 crore loan to a non-existent cooperative housing society.

The ACB filed the charge-sheet against Mohammad Shafi Dar, the then chairman of J-K State Cooperative Bank Limited (JKSTCB), Hilal Ahmad Mir, chairman of non-existent River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society, Srinagar, and Abdul Hamid Hajam, secretary of the non-existent River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society, Srinagar, according to officials.

The anti-graft body registered the case against Dar and others under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly sanctioning a loan to the tune of Rs 250 crore in favour of the non-existent society for the purpose of construction of a satellite township at Shivpora locality in Srinagar, bypassing the credit policy of the bank and on the basis of false and fabricated documents, they said.

 The ACB investigation revealed that a conspiracy was hatched between Dar, Mir, Hajam, Mujib Ur Rehman Ghasi — the then registrar of cooperative societies, J-K, Syed Ashiq Hussain — deputy registrar cooperative societies, and others in creating the fake society in 2018-19 in order to obtain a loan from the bank, officials said.