Six convicted in securities scam

NEW DELHI DEC. 4. The Special Court in Mumbai of Justice D. K. Deshmukh, constituted under the Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities Act, 1992, has convicted the former Chairman and Managing Director of UCO Bank, K. Margabanthu for his involvement in the Harshad Mehta-perpetrated stock market scam of 1992.

The court also convicted the former General Manager of UCO Bank, R. Venkatkrishnan and Assistant General Manager, S.V. Ramanathan. Besides, two National Housing Bank officials, C. Ravikumar, and Suresh Babu were also convicted. While Harshad Mehta expired during the trial, his employee, Atul Prakash, was convicted. The sentences range from six months of imprisonment to three years.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered this case in June 1992 and the charge sheet was filed in June 1993. Active trial in this case started from January 2002. The officials of the UCO Bank who have been pronounced guilty illegally borrowed Rs. 40 crores in the call money market and placed it at the disposal of the late Harshad Mehta. Call money transactions are between banks or financial institutions in which brokers have no role.

While Margabanthu and Venkatkrishnan have been awarded six months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh each, Ravi Kumar was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh. Suresh Babu was awarded a one-year sentence and Rs. 50,000 fine, Ramanathan has to undergo one month rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000. Atul Prakash was given 15 days rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000.

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