ACB searches properties of J&K Bank’s fmr chief, Shares tumble

TNN Bureau. Updated: 6/20/2019 11:31:36 AM Front Page

SRINAGAR: In the ongoing probe into the alleged irregularities in the functioning of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday carried out searches at the properties belonging to former chairman of the state’s premier financial institution Pervez Ahmad.

The searches were conducted by a team of the ACB at three locations including Ahmad ‘s private residence, his official residence and his brother Nawaz Ahmad Nengroo’s house, following which the bank’s shares fell by 10%, touching the lowest price in last ten years.

Ahmad was removed by the Jammu and Kashmir government on June 8 after allegations of gross irregularities and misuse of his official position during his tenure as the Bank's Chairman. He was replaced by interim chairman R K Chhibber while a search committee was set up to look for a new chairman and the managing director of the state's premier financial institution.

Ever since June 8, the ACB is conducting searches at bank’s various branches across the state.

On Wednesday, a team of the anti-graft body carried out searches at Ahmad’s private residence located on Residency road in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk and his brother Nawaz Ahmad Nengroo’s house near Mughal Darbar Bakery in Srinagar.

The ACB sleuths were accompanied by Magistrates and local police at the time of the raids, said eyewitnesses.

The ACB also searches Ahmad’s official residence, second time in past 11 days.

Wednesday’s searches came a day after Ahmad spent more than six hours at the ACB’s office.

“On Tuesday, Parvez Ahmad was called for questioning at 4 pm and he left the ACB office around 10:30 pm,” a source informed.

Ahmed was removed by the state government on alleged charges of corruption, nepotism and favouritism. He was appointed as chairman and CEO of J&K Bank in October 2016 and his tenure was to end in a few months.

The bank in a regulatory filing had said the state government is taking a host of steps including splitting the post of chairman and managing director to improve transparency, governance, compliance and profitability of the lender

Soon after his removal, the Anti Corruption Bureau, which was established a few months ago in Jammu and Kashmir which is currently under the President’s rule, had raided his official residence as well as Bank’s corporate headquarters.

The ACB is probing the irregularities in sanctioning loans worth hundreds of crores of rupees allegedly in violation of guidelines as well as hundreds of illegal appointments in the bank.

The ACB last week registered a case against Srinagar’s deputy mayor and businessman, Sheikh Imran, over availing loans in violation of rules from the bank.

Officials said more raids and cases were likely to be registered against some influential people, who have taken loans fraudulently from the bank in connivance with top government and bank officials.

Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir Bank shares fell 10 percent intraday on June 19 after the reports flashed that former chairman’s residence has been raided by Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB).

The stock touched a day's low of Rs 33.50, the lowest price since May 2009. At 1238 hours IST, it was quoting at Rs 34.40, down Rs 2.80, or 7.53 percent on the BSE.

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