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Faiz Rahman Siddiqui, TNN 9 August 2009, 06:10am IST

All the law enforcement agencies including the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and UP police were put on a high alert here on
Saturday following the revelation made by senior State Bank of India officials that the owner of SRS Entertainment Company, Hanish Ram Chandani and his three co-partners, including his father, mother and his wife, have duped the bank
of whopping Rs 44 crore.

"We have already referred the case to CBI and also informed UP police to keep an eye on all the four accused so that they do not flee the country," said SBI sources.

Meanwhile, a member of a spot audit team from Hyderabad said that such kind of huge financial bungling cannot be done only by one person and added that "there's more than what meets the eye''.

"We are still investigating the case and more serious revelations are likely to come in the coming days and we are expecting that by Tuesday, first round of preliminary investigations will be over," said SBI general manager Arun Sarin.

Eight employees of SBI Kanpur main branch have already been suspended in connection with the case.

While deputy general manager, SBI main branch, Sanjay Dixit was suspended on Thursday, the remaining seven - AGM Ajeet Gupta, chief manager Jai Deep Banerjee, manager Vipin Kanaujiya and four others were suspended on Wednesday.

SBI chief general manager BV Chaubal, who is heading the inquiry into the scam, said Hanish Ram Chandani, who also owns a chain of filling stations in and around the city had opened a current account in the SBI for his firm -- SRS Entertainment Company -- in the year 2007. Later, in 2008, the firm opened two more accounts. The firm opened another account in 2009.

"Fake cheques were credited into the accounts of the four including Hanish, with the help of the bank officials," said an SBI official. The bank officials used to overdraft approvals without doing proper formalities, he claimed further.

"When the amount crosses Rs 5 crore then as per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines, the case should be handed over to the CBI, informed Chaubal while talking to TOI. The case has already been referred to the CBI besides other law enforcement agencies including the headquarters of RBI in Mumbai and Lucknow, he added.

A senior SBI officer said investigation of SBI main branch here located on Mahatma Gandhi Marg are being conducted in a manner which has not hampered the working of the bank.

SP (City) Dharamveer Singh, however, said the police are on the lookout for the four accused and we are trying to provide all sort of assistance to SBI officials.

Probe areas:

* Where the four accused have invested the whopping sum of Rs 44 crore.

* Besides four accused, who else is involved in the scam.

* What was the modus-operandi of withdrawing money.

Source: TOI


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