STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Yash Pal Bourney on Friday granted seven days police remand of Hilal Rather, son of Ex-Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather who was yesterday taken into custody by Anticorruption Bureau Jammu in a Bank Fraud Case of Paradise Avenue Township Project. According to the ACB, Hilal Rather was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Jammu 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. The investigation conducted by the Bureau 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 a OTS with the State Financial Corporation in the past. The remaining loan amount was granted by the Board despite the fact that the repayment 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 Bureau 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. 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 has become NPA.
After hearing Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Himanshu Parkash for the ACB, the court observed that case pertains to the large scale swindling of public money and misappropriation thereof to the detriment of financial health of the bank with the active assistance of staff and management of the concerned bank and requires thorough investigation to uncover the plot. “The investigation is at initial stage and accused, who is alleged to be at the center stage of the misadventure, has been arrested yesterday only. He has been got medically examined at the Police Hospital and the Medical Officer has certified him to be in a fit state of health and mind. The accusations against the accused are well founded which are grave in nature. Therefore, there is merit in the prayer of the investigating officer for police remand”, the court observed and remanded the accused to police custody for a period of seven days viz upto January 24, 2020, when he will be produced again for further orders. The investigating officer shall get the accused medically examined regularly after the interval of 48 hours or even earlier if required, the court observed.
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