CBI asked to file status report on Rs. 570 crore transfer

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a status report on a complaint filed by the DMK seeking an impartial probe by the Central agency into the recent transfer of Rs. 570 crore from Coimbatore to Visakhapatnam by State Bank of India (SBI), in the run-up to the 2016 Assembly elections.

Justice R. Subbiah gave the direction on a criminal original petition moved by DMK MP and press relations secretary T.K.S. Elangovan, who alleged that the transfer relates to inter-State movement of “huge hawala money” involving two States.

“The claims of officials of nationalised banks (that the money belongs to SBI) are on the basis of fake, forged letters, and forged permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Thus they have conspired together, committed an act of forgery, falsification of records besides have abused their positions and power to create movement of ‘hawala money’ and therefore have committed an offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act,” Mr. Elangovan claimed and sought an investigation by the CBI.

Alleging that the three trucks used to carry the money did not have clean registration certificates, he said: “Out of the three vehicles, one bearing registration number AP 13 X 5204 is not the registered number of the truck, but rather the number belongs to a multi-purpose vehicle.” Pointing out that the currencies in 195 sealed boxes found in three containers contained the seal of Axis Bank, the petitioner wondered how the SBI could claim that the currencies were transported from its cash chest.

‘Guidelines not followed’

Besides claiming that all the communications/ letters which have come into existence subsequent to the seizure raise serious doubts about the claim that the transfer was really undertaken by the SBI, the petitioner added, “Be that as it may, transportation of such huge money by road at night is not in accordance with the RBI guidelines.”

Senior counsel P. Wilson representing the petitioner argued that as per the RBI guidelines, whenever huge monies are to be transported between the chest of the same or different banks, the same has to be done only through rail and has to be escorted by local police.

Submitting that he had already sent a complaint on the issue to the Prime Minister and to other authorities, including the CBI on May 30, Mr. Elangovan said the CBI had failed to act on the complaint.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 3:02:12 AM |

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