Crores meant for construction activities siphoned off
STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday arrested Hilal Rather, son of National Conference leader and former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather, in a bank fraud case involving Rs 177 crore. “Hilal Rather was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Jammu today in a case related to the alleged misappropriation of crores of rupees from the term loans running into Rs 177 crore sanctioned by Jammu and Kashmir Bank for his ambitious township project known as Paradise Avenue at Narwal Bala Jammu in the year 2012,” an ACB spokesman said. Hilal’s father Abdul Rahim Rather was the finance minister of the erstwhile state in 2012 when the loan was taken from the bank. The investigation conducted by the ACB has revealed that Paradise Avenue, a Partnership Concern of Hilal Rather, Dr Rizwan Raheem Dar of Sanant Nagar Srinagar, Ghulam Mohd Bhatt of Baramulla Kashmir, Daljeet Wadhera and Deepshikha Jamwal of Jammu was sanctioned a term loan of Rs 74.27 crore in the first phase and in relaxation to the credit policy of the bank which restricts loan to a partnership firm at Rs 40 crore, the loan was approved by the Board of Directors of the J&K Bank despite the fact that Hilal Rather had already entered into an OTS with the State Financial Corporation in the past. The remaining loan amount was granted by the Board despite the fact that the repayments of the first loan taken was not complete. Hilal Rather, who also owns Simula Group of Companies, was being questioned for the last few months by the ACB in connection with the siphoning off crores of rupees from the loan amount sanctioned by the New University Campus Branch of J&K Bank for the construction of Flats under the name of Paradise Avenue. He has been evading details of property raised and other transactions related to siphoning of funds meant for construction. Hilal Rather has been taken into custody for further questioning. It has also been revealed that the funds diverted have been used to purchase huge properties abroad, holidaying abroad with family and friends and also for other entertainment activities. All the loan amounts availed by Hilal Ahmed Rather to tune of Rs.177 crore have become NPA. Further investigation in the matter is in progress.
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