CBI books former finance minister’s son


The CBI has booked Hilal Rather, the son of National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, in Rs 177-crore bank fraud case, Daily Excelsior reported.

Hilal Rather

According to a report published by Daily Excelsior, the central agency has taken over the case on the recommendation of the Anti-Corruption Branch of Jammu and Kashmir.

The report said that the ACB and J&K Government had approached the CBI to take over investigations in Rs 177 cr scam involving Hilal Rather as he owned overseas properties which were reportedly purchased from the bank money.

It is alleged that Rather had taken a loan from Jammu and Kashmir Bank for his ambitious township project, known as Paradise Avenue, at Narwal Bala in Jammu in 2012, Daily Excelsior quoted officials as saying.

The account had turned non-performing asset in 2017, they said.

It is alleged that the loan amount was diverted to be invested in properties in Dubai and America, sponsorship of a T20 cricket team of a company and hosting shows of a popular stand-up comedian.

The ACB had concluded in its report, now part of the FIR, that funds worth over Rs 26 crore were diverted from the account for the purchase of expensive gift items, holidays abroad and hosting shows of TV and film celebrities, they said.

A portion of loan amount was used to pay fuel bills and salary of employees of Simula Software Solutions, besides taking the Simula Cricket team, a sister concern of Paradise Avenue owned by Rather, to Dubai and Sharjah for playing T20 tournament and sponsoring the show of a famous TV stand-up comedian, it said.

The ACB had found that money was allegedly transferred to a Dubai bank account and purchase of at least three properties and investments in Al Ahli Saudi Trading Equity Fund and Mashreq Al Islamic Income ‘B’ USD, they said.

The funds diverted to the USA were allegedly used to purchase property worth USD 5.89 lakh there, it said.

In spite of non-payment of the first loan, three more term loans were granted by the bank taking in total loan amount to Rs 177.68 crore which remained unpaid, they said.

The bank management abused its official position in a one-time settlement waiving Rs 50 crore from the outstanding due, they said.

Meanwhile, a medical board constituted for the examination of Hilal Rather by Principal, Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu on the directions of the Court, today submitted its report to the Registrar General of Court.

The medical Board comprised Dr Elias Sharma (HoD Urology), Dr Anil Sharma (HoD Medicine) and Dr Rahul Gupta (HoD Chest Diseases).

Investigations of the high profile case were being handled by officers in the ACB, who had vast experience of working in NIA and CBI.

“While Director ACB, Anand Jain had a good experience of investigations in NIA, SSP S. Bala Subramanium from CBI Headquarters, Delhi had been deputed to ACB for cracking this case and the investigating officer, Kamal Sangra had already served in CBI for eight years”, sources pointed out.

“The possibility of stashing of funds and diversion of funds to subversive elements cannot be ruled out,” the ACB said in one of the reasons for handing over the probe to the central agency.

It is alleged that Hilal Rather, presently in custody, had taken a loan from J and K Bank for his ambitious township project, known as Paradise Avenue, at Narwal Bala in Jammu in 2012, when his father was the Finance Minister of the erstwhile State, they said.

It is alleged that the loan was sanctioned without submitting any collateral and the money was diverted from the bank account, they said.

The account had turned non-performing asset in 2017, newspaper Daily Excelsior quoted the officials as having said.


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