Ex-finance minister’s home searched in Rs 180-cr J&K Bank scam | India News

SRINAGAR: CBI teams searched on Tuesday eight locations across the country as part of the agency’s investigation into the J&K Bank embezzlement case. Former finance minister and J&K Bank chairman Haseeb Drabu’s home was searched in connection with the bank buying an office building in Mumbai at an allegedly marked-up price of Rs 180 crore in 2010 when the NC-Congress coalition was in office.
CBI officers also searched the properties of the bank’s former executive director AK Mehta, then director Mohammad lbrahim Shahdad, and businessman Vikrant Kuthiala. An officer said documents, electronic evidence, bank account details, and locker keys were seized during the exercise.
Drabu was J&K Bank chairman when NC-Congress was in power, and finance minister in the PDP-BJP government until he was dropped in June 2018. He resigned from PDP in December, ending his four-year association with the party.
When the alleged bank scandal surfaced some time ago, the J&K government handed the probe to the CBI, which registered a case on November 11, 2021. Besides, enforcement directorate officers questioned former CM Omar Abdullah last month.
According to reports from multiple agencies, including the J&K anti-corruption bureau, offers were received from 25 bidders in 2009 and a committee constituted to shortlist the names chose eight buildings. Among the eight parties, “rates offered by Ashapura Builders were the lowest (Rs 25,000 per square feet),” a document states.
But it has been alleged that the lowest bidder was ignored and a fresh advertisement inviting bids was published in January 2010. The bank’s board members were told in February that Akruti Gold BKC met the requirements. The price quoted for the 42,000-square-foot building was Rs 26,000 per square feet, which roughly worked out to Rs 109 crore and Rs 73 crore for six proposed floors, a report said.
The board members approved the proposal. “According to, the rate was finalized at Rs 26,000 per square feet for nine floors having a total chargeable area of ​​63,776 square feet. A token amount of Rs 25 crore was paid to developer Vishal Techno Commerce Limited, ”an ABC preliminary report said.

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