RAMKRISHNAPUR COOPERATIVE BANK AT HOWRAH-711101,WB — fraud case of bank(eighty crores of rupees and victims are the 75,000 poor depositors)
West Bengal, India
fraud case of bank(eighty crores of ruppes and victims are the 75,000 poor depsitors)----The Ramkrishnapur Cooperative Bank Ltd. was registered as a Cooperative Society on Januarty 30, 1965 and commenced banking business (as was permissible under law for Cooperative Credit Society obviously) on February 14, 1965. After detailed discussions with concerned department of RBI, Kolkata to expand area of operation / membership of the society applied for a licence to the RBI 0n April 30, 1983 to conduct banking business u/s 22 B.R.Act 1949 (as applicable to Cooperative Societies).
While provisionally allowed so to do on terms assigned RBI regualrly conducted statutory inspection of the financial position of the bank and statutory audits have been regularly conducted by the Dte of Cooperative Audit under Dept. of Cooperation, Govt. of W. B.
During inspection of the financial position as on March 31, 2007 RBI detected serious deficiencies but prefered to sit tight and mute.
Reportedly by an order in 2003 RBI restrained the bank from granting / escalating any loan to non-members. But in vein, and RBI with their mutual objectives continued inspections the way that have been considered comfortable in mutual interest till recent past.
All of a sudden RBI by a Public Notice dated 25.08.2009 under signature of Mr. C Pattanayak DGM UBD imposed embargo restraining the bank, inter alia, from accepting new deposits, allowing depositors to withdraw only upto Rs. 1,000/- from any SB, CA A/c, renewal of existing FDs etc.
It was specially mentioned that the said Public Notice can no way be construed as rejection of the bank’s application as aforesaid that was kept pending by them for more than long 27 years, thereby allowing the bank to continue to conduct banking business subject to its directions (without allowing the customers to know about).
One Ajay Kumar De – an ordinary customer of the bank at his own instance sent an e-mail immediately thereafter on November 4, 2009 to “[protected]@rbi.org.in” addressed to the Executive Director, RBI Mumbai in reference to one Circular being UBD.CO.NSB.II/D-56/12.29.038/2009-10 dated August 20, 2009 released by the said Executive Director seeking to be enlightened for the sake of the poor depositors if patience for some months would ensure safety and security of the savings of poor depositors. Alas ! Both Kolkata Office and their Mumbai Office were in the same network. Thus maintained silence for their convenience since sailing on the same boat .
Here starts the irregularity conspicuously. The depositors started facing uncertainty, being allowed to withdraw @ Rs. 1,000/- a week, later @ Rs. 1,000/- a month at the whims of its Directors (two of whom are known real estate promotors in the city and away, again, one is the representative of the people as Councillor to HMC as nominee of the century old political party. One among them carrying on real estate promoting business in different name is now being projected as a contestant to the forthcoming assembly poll as a nominee of` a recently chosen political platform either from Howrah Central or Howrah South Assembly Constituency) taking advantage of the trick played by the RBI by prefering silence in the public notice on ’periodicity of withdrawal’ from an a/c, may be keeping the bank directors in confidence in leaugue, and leaving the poor depositors at the mercy of the corrupt directors and few staff of the bank.
The total amount of the scam is estimated at staggered eighty crores of ruppes and victims are the 75,000 poor depsitors.
Prior to that, however, the Cooperation Department of Govt. of W.B. by their Order No. 708 (Sanction) – Coop/D/3P-5/2010 Pt dated March 31, 2010 (copy annexed and marked with the letter ‘D’) was pleased to sanction a whole sum of Rs. 9.9 Crores for four Urban Cooperative Banks in State of W.B. including Rs. 4.5 Crores for Ramkrishnapur Cooperative Bank Ltd. as a measure to implementation of Revival Package of those banks. It is worthwhile that though the sanctioned sum were released to all other three banks the sum sanctioned for Ramkrishnapur Bank Ltd. has been kept in abeyance for constant persuation by the customers at apropriate level with the view that culprits who can siphone as much as eighty crores of rupees to their promoting business only Rs. 4.5 Crores shall be like tip of snuff to further advance their personal wisdom. Hence, the first step needs be dismantling the present corrupt Board of Directors with appointment of an Administrator in the bank and simultaneous drastic steps by Administrator to book the culprits / properties they acquired – a small list of which is with DGIT (I), aiming at safe return of the funds to their true owners, and the customers would keep patience with the Administrator.
The largest section of the staff members of the bank recently formed a union of their own and had it affiliated by BEFI. Since the king pin of the scam recently shifted his allegiance to a recently chosen political platform, and remainder / factional part of the staff members in good book of the culprits are also attempting to find shelter of the same recently chosen political platform naturally.
Soon after a good number common depositors addressed one representation dated 07.06.2010 (copy enclossed and marked with the letter ‘E’) to the General Manager, Urban Banks Dept of RBI, Kolkata with copy endorsed to the i) The Hon’ble Chief Minister, W.B., ii) The Secretary, Dept of Cooperation, W.B. Govt., iii) The Director Genl. of Income Tax (Investigations), Easter Region, iv) The Superintendent of Police, CBI, Anti Corruption Branch, Nizam Palace, Kolkata, v) The Chairman, E.B. State Cooperative Bank, Kolkata, and vi) The Addl Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Govt. of W.B. (the post of Registrar being currently vacant) – the Genral Manager UBD RBI Kolkata with conspicuously unusual haste and hurry released one other Public Notice dated June 18, 2010 (copy enclossed and marked with the letter ‘F’) to the effect that the appilcation of the bank lying in cold storage is thereby rejected purporting to wash their hands altogether – as if the scam of the bank continued for nearly 25 years or more some how missed attention of the dept run by some children though sitting only 2/3 km away from the scammers.
Again, as per a Circular dated June 22, 2010 down loaded from its web site it appears that Dept of Comminication, RBI Mumbai announces that the application of the bank pending for more than 27 years has been rejected because the bank ceased to be solvent (only recently and after its last statutory inspection ! ), and all efforts (though preferring silence on details) to revive the bank failed, and thereby washing its hands soiled together with the Directors of the bank for several years, again, requesting the Govt. of W.B. to issue order of liquidation of the bank.
In the same communication RBI purported to disclose that :
30.04.1983 - Bank applied for a Licence ;
04.09.2009 – RBI issued Show Cause Notice to the bank why application for licence shall not be rejected
08.10.2009 - The Bank’s reply was found unsatisfactory ;
thereby giving the impression that RBI inflicted the disciplinary / punitive action by way of imposing embargo communicated through a public notice dated 25.08.2009 well before they even issued alleged show cause letter, and considered the bank’s reply. It’s thus a matter of investigation what actually promted RBI UBD to take all the haphazard steps purporting to establish that none of their office is directly involved in the scam, and that they are free to wash their hands altogether simply with a request to W.B. Govt. to issue order of liquidation of the bank.
On the other hand, since a few of the suffering depositors staged a road blockade on G. T. Road (South) at the xing of Sandhyabazar on 11.05.2010 to agitate and draw attention of the local administration Sm Swati Banerjee – the respected S.D.O. (Sadar), Howrah was pleased to hold a joint meeting of the defaulting Directors, BEFI members, and the depositors’ representatives of the bank in her office chamber on May 14, 2010 and advised the depositors to form a Customers’ Forum in stead and to forward their grievance in writing to her so that she can redress the grievance through State Administration. A Forum was formed and is under way of registration under W.B. Socieities Registration Act 1961 who submitted its representation on 08.06.2010 to the respected S.D.O. (S) (copy annexed and marked with the letter ‘H’) and communicated by a letter dated June 23, 2010 to the Secretary of the bank about formation of a Customers’ Forum seeking to extend all cooperations to the bank management to come out of present stalemate but no effect till such time. The S. D. O. (S), Howrah unfortunately when being enquired by the forum about any development in the matter on 07.07.2010 flamboyantly delivered the verdict of Howrah District Administration after carefully exercising in to the scam and the representation that the district administration has no business and / or action in regard to the turmoil created by the management of the bank resulting in a great threat to the public tranquility in the area. The same was communicated to Sm Sanghamitra Ghosh - the respected District Magistrate, Howrah by copy of one other letter dated 08.07.2010 .
At this stage, Mr. Ambika Bandopadhyay - local MP (LS) was pleased to intervene in to the matter and the common depositors addressed one representation dated 08.07.2010 to the Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Dept of Cooperation, Govt. of W.B. with a copy endorsed to local MP with the prayer to save our soul with best of his might for the poor customers of Ramkrishnapur Cooperative Bank Ltd.
Incidentally, the Hon’ble Justice Girish Chandra Gupta of Kolkata High Court in similar matter was pleased to pass an order on February 03, 2010 in W. P. No. 1254 (w) of 2010 (Subrata Kumar Dhara & Anr –vs- R. B. I. & (naturally) Bally Cooperative Bank).
Fuel was added in fire with publication of a new in local daily news paper on 25.07.2010 disclosing names of persons behind the scam without, however, any indication that UBD RBI & Dte of Coop Audits, WB were the principal patrons amongst others. As usual the members of the Forum were staging agitation on that date at 10.00 in the morning in front of the Bank premises after a round of march in and around it. The musclemen of the Directors keeping local police in front for their safe passage cracked down on the members of the Forum, humiliated some, and attempted to murder one amongst them.
Unfortunately, moment the Inspector-in-Charge found the victims in PS about to lodge one FIR against the culprits got irritated and conspicuously threatened the complainants that he would soon arrest him on some pretext or other in a case he would initiate, if possible same day, after he would first make out an FIR suitably through his contacts in the Board of the Bank. The FIR of the Forum member was, however, received nearly after two hours of waiting in PS and blast by the I/C as above.
Howrah PS Case No. 190/10 dt 25.07.2010 was really initiated at the instance of the I/C himself. Because the handwriting in the relevant written complaint was not that of the alleged complainant Chairman who is, again, school mate of the so called accused and the Head Clerk in a local Girls’ High School – naturally having sufficient education. It was written in simple Bengali that too full of silly errors. The Forum’s members made accused in the said FIR were granted bail by the Ld. CJM Howrah naturally.
The whole over action and behaviour of the I/C Howrah leant towards the Directors whose names appeared in the news daily as above was immediately reported to the respected District Magistrate Howrah and the Superintendent of Police Howrah. Naturally, with no virtual effect till now. This was agin complained to the Hon’ble Chairman of Human Rights Commission, WB, and were reported to the Home Secretary, WB Govt., Inspector General of Police – South Bengal and the Dy. Inspector Genral of Police – Presidency Range.
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