Former J&K bank chairman arrested in illegal allotment of tender case

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Srinagar, Apr 3 (PTI) Former chairman of J&K Bank Parvez Ahmad Nengroo was arrested on Saturday in connection with a case of illegal allotment of tenders for housekeeping that led to a loss of crores of rupees to the bank, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) said.

The ACB had registered a case in October last year against a private firm and three former bank officials including Nengroo, who was removed from the post in June 2019, five months before the end of his term, for allegedly causing a Rs 6.92-crore loss to the bank by not following tendering rules.

“Nengroo has been arrested in connection with the investigation of a case that pertains to illegal allotment of tenders by Jammu and Kashmir Bank regarding housekeeping, to a Mumbai based Company (M/S SILA Solutions Pvt. Ltd) by not following proper tendering norms as provided in the contract,” the ACB said in a statement here.

The statement said due to not following the proper tendering processes, improper ATM cleaning, undue addition of the Management Fee and other omissions and commissions detected during the investigation, the J&K Bank suffered losses worth crores of rupees from the date of award of the contract.

Besides Nengroo, the ACB has named Sahil Vora and Rishabh Vora, directors, SILA Solutions Pvt Ltd, Surjeet Singh Seghal, the then executive president of J&K Bank (now retired) and Feroz Ahmad, the then assistant vice-president, in the tendering fraud.

In December 2019, the ACB had filed a charge-sheet against Nengroo and 22 others in another case related to illegal appointments in the bank. The accused also included another former bank chairman, Sheikh Mushtaq.

As per the ACB investigation, the J&K Bank has created an 'unprecedented and illegal practice of making more than 3,000 back door appointments clandestinely” including of relatives of the bank officials contrary to rules and norms governing the subject, causing a huge loss of more than Rs 250 crore on account of salary paid to these illegal employees over the period.

Five people, who benefitted in the process and provided employment, have also been named as accused in the charge sheet.

The government ordered Nengroo's dismissal and replaced him with an interim chairman R K Chibber who was executive president of the financial institution.

Chibber got the seventh extension for six months on March 31, making him the longest-serving chief executive.

The government, which owns a majority stake in the bank, has said the decision to remove Ahmad was part of long-term measures for improving the functioning of the bank in accordance with RBI guidelines.

'Keeping in view the concerns expressed in various quarters regarding the governance and functioning of the bank, the government has decided to take long term measures to improve its functioning so that it becomes a shining example of a well managed government-owned bank,' an official spokesman had said. PTI SSB/TAS RT RT