The High Court on Tuesday acquitted K. Varadaraja Pai, senior branch manager of Corporation Bank’s Cantonment branch in Bangalore during 1999-2000, who had been convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Justice Anand Byrareddy passed the order while allowing an appeal filed by Geeta V. Pai, wife of the convicted officer, who had pursued the case even after the death of her husband who died when the appeal was pending in the High Court.

The Special Court for CBI cases on December 29, 2007 had convicted Mr. Pai and another private person, Krishnaswamy Sridhar. They were convicted on charges of cheating the bank by forging the documents of some Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR) deposit accounts to fraudulently secure loan in favour of some private companies while submitting the forged papers of FCNR deposits belonging to some Non Resident Indians (NRIs) as security for loans.

While Mr. Pai was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and with a penalty of Rs. 2.55 lakh, Mr. Sridhar was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years with a penalty of Rs. 1.05 lakh.

However, the High Court found that the Special Court convicted Mr. Pai based on a “unilateral” statement of one of the depositors though four other NRI depositors did not give evidence, and also one of the key witness was not examined at all.

“No evidence was referred to by the court that the power of attorney (PoA) on the basis of which the transaction was permitted, was a bogus document and that PoA holders were fictitious persons,” the High Court said while pointing out that the CBI’s case does not establish the case against the bank official.

  • Varadaraja Pai was convicted in 2007

  • His wife pursued the legal battle after his death