Thursday, May 6, 2010

Corruption in ACMM court Bangalore: officials, banks, lawyers nexus

Bangalore Mirror has broken a story which shows how corruption is seeping right through Indian judiciary.  The Provident Fund scam was involved with high court judges and a supreme court judge too.  The case below involves court officials but not judges.

So there is taint of corruption in courts right from Supreme court to lower courts… corruption has become the great leveller in Indian judiciary.

Bangalore Mirror has exclusive details of the cheating committed on innocent citizens of India. A room full of some 70,000 fake Non-Bailable Warrants (NBW) is being scrutinised at the court.

Officials investigating the scam have found fake seals of judges’ signatures, and cooked-up court papers. The documents were found in the pending branch of the court complex.

A bank-court staff ring used these papers against clueless borrowers of ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, Cholamandalam DBS Finance Limited, Reliance Capital and HDFC Bank, among others. The fraud was committed against borrowers whose cheques bounced.

When an EMI cheque bounces, the bank and its advocates get into the act by getting forged documents and NBWs out of the ‘parallel court’ operating at the court.

Then, the bank sends its musclemen or takes the help of the police to confront the ‘accused’ with fake warrants.
After threatening the debtor, they recover the entire loan amount, and not just the EMI.

This is against the procedure laid down under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. No sworn statement of the bank manager is recorded nor is any sworn statement taken in any of these cases.

Another major fraud is that most of the accused are not in Bangalore. Many live in cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Allahabad, and in remote corners of Jharkand and Bihar. The story unfolded after many such harassed customers complained to the court, sources said.

The law says a Bangalore court cannot have jurisdiction on an offence committed outside the city.

The truth is, none of these accused had even visited Bangalore before. So, there was no question of the XIV ACMM having jurisdiction over these people.

The scam has shaken the judiciary in Karnataka. One source told this journalist that an advocate had filed 30,000 such cases allegedly on behalf of Cholamandalam DBS Finance in the last six months. An advocate reportedly representing Kotak Mahindra Bank has filed around 10,000 fake cases in the last six months.

The preliminary inquiry has revealed that advocates representing many banks, in collusion with court staff, have created their fake stationery for preparing the orders.

These orders don't have the date of execution nor are the so-called signatures supported by dates. A closer look at the order sheets reveals that they have been faked.

XIV ACMM A Gurumurthy refused to meet the Bangalore Mirror team when we said we wanted to get details from him.

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