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Ex-J&K leader's son denied bail on Covid-19 ground

Tuesday - March 31, 2020 6:45 pm , Category : INDIA
Jammu, March 31 (IANS) A special CBI court rejected the bail plea of Hilal Ahmad Rather in the Rs 177 crore Jammu and Kashmir Bank fraud case, here on Tuesday.
Rather, son of senior National Conference leader and former J&K Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, had sought bail on the grounds of coronavirus symptoms, which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) opposed.
The CBI submitted that a medical examination by the PGI Chandigarh found his condition stable and no need of medical assistance. The jail authorities were also providing adequate facilities to Rather regarding his health, the CBI added.
The CBI had named Rather and two others in a charge-sheet filed before the court on March 14 in connection with the fraudulent withdrawals.
The CBI also argued that the accused, if granted bail, might move around and violate the lockdown, announced by the government to contain Covid-19 infection.
The court agreed with the CBI's submission and said the accused might contract coronavirus out of the jail.
The J&K administration on February 28 had recommended CBI probe in the case citing "international ramifications to the conspiracy with properties being purchased abroad by the accused."
The CBI had registered the case on March 4. Rather was arrested by the anti-corruption branch of the J&K Police on January 16.
During investigation, the CBI found that Rather had entered into a criminal conspiracy with the J&K Bank officials to get Rs 177.68 crore loan sanctioned in violation of rules and guidelines.
The loans sanctioned for building flats were allegedly misappropriated by the accused using the bank accounts of his employees. Rather also submitted forged certificates and bills to the bank. The account was classified as non-performing asset on December 31, 2017.
The bank officials didn't verify documents submitted by Rather and also helped in siphoning and laundering the money. Rather's partners in the firm -- Rizwan Raheem Dar, Ghulam Mohd Bhatt, Daljeet Wadhera and Deepshikha Jamwal -- are also being probed by the agency.

--IANS rak/pcj