Ex-SBI chief manager gets two years rigorous imprisonment in 2002 bank cheating case

A special court here has convicted a former chief manager of the State Bank of India (SBI) and an executive director of a firm for cheating the bank nearly two decades back, and said such crimes are “heinous in nature” as they intend to destroy the “economic fabric and financial edifice of the state”.

Special CBI court judge D P Shingade convicted V B Mantri, former chief manager of the SBI’s Mulund branch, and M P Abraham, executive director, Trinity Greases Private Ltd, on December 21 under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The former banker was also convicted under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The duo was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for two years as per the detailed order made available on Wednesday.

“There cannot be two opinions on the proposition that bank money is public money. These crimes are more heinous in nature as they intend to destroy the economic fabric and financial edifice of the State,” the court observed.

It noted that offences are occurring in plenty and have resulted in stultifying overall growth of the nation and also caused tremendous impairment to the economy of the nation.

The offence was registered in 2002, the chargesheet was filed in 2005 and the trial continued till today. There is a long period of more than 18 years, the court said, while sentencing the duo.

The court, however, acquitted five other accused in the case.

The prosecution’s case was that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to defraud the SBI, Mulund (W) branch and to cause wrongful loss to the bank and corresponding gain to them.

To bring home the guilt of the accused persons, the prosecution examined as many as 32 witnesses and adduced the documentary evidence as described in the earlier part of the judgment.

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