The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fraud bankers under SC glare

New Delhi, Nov. 13: The Supreme Court today moved to break the builder-banker nexus, asking the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to probe the losses suffered by two national banks because bank guarantees worth Rs 10 crore were dishonoured by Skipper Constructions.

Owned by Tejwant Singh, Skipper Constructions allegedly duped thousands of people of several crores in the name of allotting flats and shops in Delhi and other places.

Officials of Canara Bank and New Bank of India were allegedly involved in the scam relating to advancement of guarantees in 1986 to the Skipper group for construction purposes. The banks suffered losses as most of the amount could not be recovered.

A division bench of Justices U.C. Banerjee and Shivraj V. Patil asked the vigilance commission to complete the probe within 18 months and submit the report in sealed covers.

The “malfeasance and the misfeasance of the bank officials should be thoroughly probed by the CVC irrespective of their death or retirement from service,” the apex court said, casting the investigation net even on those officials who might have retired or died.

“We feel it expedient to direct the CVC to investigate the matter as an independent agency without being restrained by any order of any court,” the judges said. They also asked the vigilance commission to consider a report submitted by the CBI deputy superintendent.

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