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ED records statement of ex-J&K Bank chief

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It’s alleged those referred by political leaders were recruited instead of deserving candidates

The Enforcement Directorate has recorded the statement of ousted J&K Bank chairman Parvez Ahmed, in connection with alleged irregular appointments.

The agency is pursuing money-laundering probe on the basis of a case instituted by the Jammu and Kashmir’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in June. Mr. Ahmed did not respond to phone calls and messages seeking his comment.

In June, Mr. Ahmed was removed as the chairman following allegations of favouritism, after which the ACB conducted searches at the bank’s corporate headquarters looking for the records of close to 1,200 appointments in the recent past. It is alleged that those referred by politicians were recruited in place of the deserving candidates.

After his removal, Mr. Ahmed tweeted on June 8 saying: “Absolutely no regrets. Did my job most diligently, honestly and in the best interest of the institution. Open to scrutiny on each and every transaction I have done during my two decades of functioning in the bank.”

Earlier, the bank issued a statement that the recruitment process was absolutely transparent and fair and that there was no scope of any tampering with the merit listThe ED has also taken up investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in a couple of other cases registered by the ACB in connection with the bank officials, including on alleged irregularities related to loans running into crores.

One ACB case involves Srinagar’s Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran and bank officials. He is a director of Kehwa Group of companies. The ED has initiated proceedings and summoned Mr. Imran to appear before the probe team in Delhi a few days ago. As he did not turn up, the ED may summon him again

According to the ACB, the group entities got ₹138 crore credit facilities restructured to ₹78 crore allegedly in conspiracy with bank officials. The Income-Tax Department had earlier in June searched 10 premises linked to the group in J&K, Delhi and Bengaluru.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 3:37:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ed-records-statement-of-ex-jk-bank-chief/article28764778.ece

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