The Telegraph
Sunday , August 13 , 2017

Banks punch forgery holes

Bhagalpur, Aug. 12: Senior officials of the two banks which are in the eye of the storm over the Bhagalpur scam have questioned the police claim that the money had been transferred to the account of Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Ltd by using forged signatures of the district magistrates concerned.

Inspector-general, economic offences unit, Jitendra Singh Gangwar had said on Friday that the signatures of the DMs were forged to make the transactions. The economic offences unit (EOU) had, during the raid, recovered three cheques containing forged signatures of three former DMs.

"This allegation is completely baseless. How can they (EOU officials) say so without verifying the signatures of the district magistrates? The bank official used to call every time cheques were submitted to the bank for the transfer of money to the account of Srijan," said a senior official of Bank of Baroda.

The official, who requested anonymity, said that calling the "party" concerned (read the person who issues the cheque) is a routine affair. "How can it be ignored? Calls are made even from the head office to verify it. Besides, SMS alerts are sent to the account holder after every transaction," he said.

An official of Indian Bank posted in Bhagalpur said there was no apparent evidence to suggest that signatures of the DMs had been tampered with. "It is wrong to say that the money transferred to the account of the NGO will be recovered from the bank. It is not an easy task," the officer said.

Deputy general manager of Bank of Baroda Saroj Kumar and chief manager of Indian Bank Dinesh Kumar Mahto said that during each transaction, bank officials practised due diligence, including verification of signatures.

Deputy CM Sushil Modi today wrote to all principal secretaries, divisional commissioners and DMs to check the bank accounts attached with their respective offices by tallying statements with account ledgers.

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