CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has transferred to the CBI the investigation into three complaints of misappropriation, embezzlement and cheating on the jewel loans involving Rs 20.69 crore against the Central Cooperative Bank in Kancheepuram in 2011.“It is a fit case where the CBI will have to be directed to conduct further investigation,” the bench of Justices M M Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar has observed. The bench was disposing of a writ appeal from T K Babu, a retired employee of the bank, on June 17.
The appeal sought to quash an order, dated January 29, 2016, of a single judge dismissing his writ petition which had the same prayer. According to the appellant, there had been three complaints of misappropriation, embezzlement and cheating on the jewel loans and the money was given to fake joint liability groups. The alleged occurrence took place in the branches of Pallavaram and Porur. The Pallavaram branch is the subject matter of crime No.57 of 2011 on the file of City Crime Branch-II, Chennai. This is with respect to jewel loans.
Insofar as the Porur branch is concerned, two cases were registered in Crime No.140 of 2011 in the Porur police station and Crime No.3 of 2013 on the file of Commercial Crime Investigation Wing in Anna Nagar, for the jewel loans as well as the creation of fake groups and disbursement of money touching upon the joint liability groups. The accused persons have been specifically named.
However, investigation into the crime No. 57 was closed on flimsy grounds. It was claimed that the records pertaining to other cases had been destroyed in a fire and in the 2015 deluge. Babu preferred a writ petition to transfer the cases to the CBI. But Justice R Subbiah in 2016 rejected the plea citing the Supreme Court ruling, which had cautioned the courts, conferred with powers by Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution, to bear in mind certain self-imposed limitations on the exercise of their constitutional powers. Hence, the present appeal.
The bench said the Supreme Court had also held that in exceptional situations, the extraordinary power of transferring the case to the CBI, can be passed sparingly and cautiously, to instil confidence in the minds of the litigants.