Chhibber takes Charge as Interim J&K Bank chief, ACB raids conclude

TNN Bureau. Updated: 6/10/2019 11:33:18 AM Front Page

SRINAGAR: A day after the change of guard by the government at state’s premier financial institution--Jammu and Kashmir Bank, R K Chhibber assumed office as interim Chairman cum Managing Director of the Bank on Sunday, the day when the State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) concluded its two-day searches at the corporate office of the lender which it would follow it with questioning of suspects.

On his first working day tomorrow, Chibber would hold a conference call with the investors of Bank at 1 pm about the ‘steps for improving the profitability of the Bank’, a highly placed source informed.
In a surprise move, the government on Saturday had decided to separate the positions of Chairman and Managing Director of the Bank as part of ‘long term measures to improve the functioning of the Bank’, which also saw removal of incumbent Chairman Parvez Ahmad.

The surprise action was followed by nearly 10-hour-long raids by Anti-Corruption Bureau at the lender's corporate office and Ahmad’s residence in connection with alleged fraudulent appointments, even as Chibber-- the bank's executive president, was appointed as an interim chairman of the bank.
On Sunday, the ACB, which is looking into the allegations of fraudulent appointments in the Bank, concluded its searches at its corporate office in Srinagar.

"The searches of the premises of J&K Bank which started yesterday after registration of FIR by Anti Corruption Bureau concluded today (Sunday)," a spokesman of the ACB said.

He said further investigation in the case is going on.

"During search operations, documents/discriminatory material pertaining to the appointments were seized. Further investigation going on and questioning of accused/suspects will follow," the spokesman said.

Earlier in the day, sleuths of ACB, along with police, reached the corporate headquarters of the bank situated at M A Road here in the summer capital of the state and continued the searches at the premises for the second day, the officials said.

They said the ACB officials were checking the files and documents related to appointments made in the bank in the recent years.

The ACB raided the corporate headquarters of the bank on Saturday within minutes of the sacking of bank chairman Parvez Ahmad.

The government ordered Ahmad's dismissal and replaced him with an interim chairman, R K Chibber who was executive president of the financial institution.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau, which is looking for the records of the nearly 1,200 appointments made allegedly at the behest of political masters of the previous PDP-BJP dispensation in the state during Ahmad's tenure as chairman of the bank, Saturday registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a written complaint received in ACB, headquarters, J&K, to look into the allegations related illegal/fraudulent appointments made in the bank.

The spokesman of the ACB said since the allegations reflected in the complaint disclose commission of criminal misconduct by officers/officials of J&K Bank, which constitute offence under section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and punishable under section 5(2) of the Act, a case (FIR No. 10/2019) was registered in Police Station Anti Corruption Bureau Central Kashmir Srinagar and investigation of the case was taken up.

"Immediately after registration of FIR, searches of premises of Corporate Office J&K Bank head quarters (were conducted) and during search operations, documents/discriminatory material pertaining to the appointments were seized, the ACB spokesman said on Saturday, adding further investigation was going on.

The government, which owns majority stake in the bank, has said the decision to sack Ahmad was part of long-term measures for improving functioning of the bank in accordance with RBI guidelines.

“Keeping in view the concerns expressed in various quarters regarding the governance and functioning of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, the Government has decided to take long term measures to improve the functioning of the Bank, so that it becomes a shining example of a well managed Government Owned Bank.

“As a first step, the Government has decided to change its nominee Director on the Board of JK Bank, Parvez Ahmed, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director. Consequent to his replacement as a government appointed Director, the Board has taken on record cessation of Directorship of Parvez Ahmed as Chairman and Managing Director,” an official release issued by government yesterday had said.

“The Government has appointed R.K.Chibber, Executive President of JK Bank as the government nominee on the Board. The Board subsequently approved his appointment as an Interim Chairman and MD of the Bank.

On Sunday, Chibber assumed charge and said, “Having full faith and confidence in the outstanding workforce of the Bank, we shall strive to not only weather the challenges at hand but put the Bank on a different pedestal with committed support of our promoters, The J&K Govt, regulators, vibrant management and dedicated workforce.”

Delineating his priorities, Chhibber said that setting New Benchmarks in business growth & profitability through customer centric business strategies, employee development & welfare, increased shareholder value, strengthening governance and improving compliance culture across the organization would be the prime focus areas.

Chhibber had joined the services of the bank as probationary officer in the year 1982 and has led the bank in various capacities from managing business operations at branch, Zonal offices and at Corporate level.

He also headed J & K Grameen bank as Chairman for nearly three years. Prior to stepping into the role of Chairman & MD, he as Executive President functioned as Chief Compliance Officer of the bank besides handling Business Support division, Insurance, Government Banking, Lead Bank, CSC, FID, Subsidiary Management, Culture & Sports functions of the bank.

On his first working day, Chibber would hold a conference call with the investors of Bank on Monday at 1 pm about the steps for improving the profitability of the Bank, a highly placed source said.

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