Re-investigate Madhavpura Cooperative Bank scam: Prosecutor

Indo Asian News Service

Gandhinagar, Jan 7 (IANS) The special public prosecutor in the over Rs.2,000 crore Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank Scam Friday demanded reinvestigation of the case and enquiry against the police official who probed it.

Chetan Shah said Friday that he had made a written submission for this before the Ahmedabad special metropolitan magistrate as the charge-sheet lacked evidentiary value.

'The investigating policemen seemed to have gone into an overdrive collecting statements of applicants but were singularly lacking in collecting matching evidence,' he said, demanding action against the investigating officer.

Seeking a re-investigation by senior police officers, Shah noted that life savings of thousands of depositors, including senior citizens who were dependent on the interest for their survival, have been jeopardised by unscrupulous bank officials. It is essential that the culprits do not get away and therefore a re-investigation is essential, he said.

The plea was opposed by the lawyer of the former bank CEO Devendra Pandya on the plea that Pandya has already been in jail for eight years and the demand was a ploy to delay the trial.

Shah's submission will come up for order in the court of special metropolitan magistrate B.T. Dave on Jan 12.

The scam unearthed in March 2001 rocked the entire Gujarat co-operative sector. The collapse of MMCB resulted in severe repercussions on other urban co-operative banks that succumbed to its liquidity crisis, leaving lakhs of depositors in the lurch.

Mumbai-based share-broker Ketan Parikh, the bank's former chairman Ramesh Parikh who passed away in 2007 while in judicial custody, and Pandya were among the others figuring in the scam.