Pune police hand over Saraswat Bank, MD chairman, 6 other people in fraud case

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Pune police on Monday hired eight Saraswat Bank officials, including chairman Gautam Thakur and managing director Smita Sandhane, in a suspected fraud case.

However, the largest cooperative lender has described the development as an attempt to prevent the confiscation of the property of a defaulting Orange Medicare and Research Center borrower.

The bank in a statement claimed its senior officials were arrested by the Kothrud police station on Monday after an Orange Medicare director in the city – Smeeta Sameer Patil – filed an FIR earlier today after quitting. a tahsildar ordered the confiscation of mortgaged hospital property. “In order to prevent the bank from repossessing the mortgaged property”.

“We have tried to recover our legitimate dues, and we will not succumb to such pressure tactics, but we will pursue all legal remedies to take possession of the property of the defaulter who owes approximately Rs 16 crore, as well as the interest charged. day. It said.

The bank said it took collection action after the borrower failed to honor the one-time settlement and his partial payment check worth Rs 3.6 crore was bounced. Denying the allegations in the FIR, the bank said it would do everything to defend its action, its officials and bring the case to its logical end. The hospital’s majority shareholder, Smeeta Patil, alleged in the FIR, which was filed after a city court issued an order to that effect earlier today, that the bank opened a fake account and defrauded Rs 2.5 crore from his business. However, the bank’s chief executive, Sandhane, told PTI that the allegation is a misrepresentation of the facts because the said account is not a fake but a parking account or an account suspended under RBI standards – which is done in all OTS related accounts and is opened in the name of the borrower only. The account had and still has said Rs 2.5 crore paid by the founding directors, she added. Co-operative banks have faced many challenges, including serious poor governance issues forcing the RBI to suspend or cancel the licenses of dozens of them in the past two years alone, with PMC Bank being the largest in the world. ‘between them. Founded in 1918, Saraswat Bank claims to be the largest urban cooperative bank with operations in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. He has a business of over Rs 67,000 crore and operates over 280 branches. Orange Medicare & Research Center was launched by five doctors in 2011 with a project loan from Saraswat Bank. But they couldn’t complete the project on time and, citing cost overruns, took out an additional loan in 2013.

Even in 2016, the project was not finished and the bank declared it NPA. Following this in 2017, the founding directors sold 71% of their stake to the Sameer Patil group and appointed Smeeta Patil as a director, who filed the FIR earlier today, shortly after the tahsildar authorized the bank to take over the property. , the bank said. After this change of ownership, they only settled the bad debts and left the principal unpaid and the account was upgraded to a standard account. But soon they again failed to honor the repayment commitment and the account was again classified as NPA and a securitization procedure was started in 2017. In 2018, the Pune district magistrate authorized the bank to repossess the property, whereupon the borrower handed over a check for Rs. 3.66 crore with a single settlement proposal. As a result, the bank delayed the repossession of the property. But the check for Rs 3.66 crore rebounded, forcing the bank to issue a notice under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act to the borrower.

Following this, Orange Medicare unsuccessfully attempted to file a contempt petition in the Bombay High Court.

Other bank officials retained include Managing Director Anand Chalke, Zone Directors Pallavi Sali and Ratnakar Prabhakar, and Abhishek Bhagat, the branch manager of Vishrantwadi from which the loan was issued, and others.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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