J&K bank case: IT dept raids 10 business premises in Srinagar

Srinagar/New Delhi: Within days of anti-corruption bureau action against J&K Bank, the Income-Tax Department Tuesday initiated probe into the alleged irregularities and conducted searches at 10 premises on a business firm of a senior Srinagar municipal corporation functionary, officials said.

Tax sleuths raided eight premises in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar and one each in Delhi and Bengaluru of the Kehwah group, promoted by Sheikh Imran, the deputy mayor of the corporation. 

In the Kashmir Valley, the searches are being conducted in the Bohri Kadal area of downtown Srinagar and seven other nearby locations, they said. 

The action is linked to the recently unearthed alleged irregularities in the bank’s affairs and the raids conducted by the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB), they said. 

They alleged that the Kehwah group, with Imran as its chairman, is facing default proceedings after 23 of its accounts with the J-K Bank were declared non-performing assets for dues of over about Rs 120 crore.

The I-T Department suspects wrongdoings and alleged financial irregularities and hence raids are being conducted to obtain further leads, evidence and documents, the officials said.

The action comes in the backdrop bank’s chairman Parvez Ahmed being removed after charges of alleged involvement in corruption, nepotism and favouritism were reported against him. 

Referring to the ACB proceedings against Ahmed, a government official told PTI earlier this week on the condition of anonymity that investigation into alleged backdoor appointments, “irregularities, loot and plunder” is intended to cleanse the system at the bank.

The state government holds 59 per cent stake in the J&K Bank.

After his removal, Ahmed in a Twitter post said he has absolutely no regret over his work and that he did his job “most diligently, honestly and in the best interest of the institution”.

Loans worth hundreds of crores were allegedly allotted without formalities in “brazen violation” of Standard Operating Procedures or guidelines to select recommendees of two politicians, the official had said.

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