JORHAT, Jan 3 - Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati filed an FIR against Central Bank of India (Gar-Ali branch) authorities at the Jorhat Police Station on Thursday alleging involvement of bank officials in the Rs 77.80 lakh fraudulent withdrawal from Jorhat district administration’s account reportedly by Dipak Bora, a clerk (under suspension since July last year) in the Jorhat DC’s office during August-September period in 2019.
Bora was placed under suspension by the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner on July 23, 2019 on charges of swindling over Rs two lakh deposited by candidates during panchayat polls in December 2018 as security deposits.
It may be mentioned here that last week Korati filed an FIR at the Jorhat Police Station against Bora, a former Senior Assistant posted at the Development branch of the Jorhat DC’s office, accusing Bora of forging signatures of her (Korati) and Financial and Accounts Officer (Jorhat) Bandana Devi (presently on leave) in six cheques and withdrawing money from Contingency and Consultancy head of the City Infrastructure Development Fund of the administration.
A case (No: 3620/2019) under Sections 120(B), 409, 420,419, 468 of the IPC was registered against Bora on charges of cheating and forgery at the police station following filing of the FIR.
Police were looking out for Bora who has been able to evade the police dragnet till date. Efforts were on to nab him, a police source said. The source added that police have clubbed the DC’s FIR against bank officials with the earlier case registered against Bora and investigation was under way.
Speaking to mediapersons at the Conference Room of the DC's office complex here today, Korati said that looking at the manner in which Bora illegally withdrew Government money from the bank by forging her signatures and that of Devi, the same could not have been committed without the connivance of bank officials.
Pointing out the gross violation of norms and rules in the withdrawals by Bora, the Deputy Commissioner said that in the first place the cheques should not have been honoured as the specimen signature in the said account was that of her predecessor (Narayan Konwar) for operating the account at the time of withdrawal reportedly by Bora.
Korati said that she had intimated the bank for updating the specimen signature to operate the account on September 17, 2019 and the same was done on September 23. However, Bora withdrew the money, as per bank records, prior to her updating the specimen signature.
“How could bank authorities pay money against cheques without having the specified signature of the authorised person, which was the previous DC in this case,” Korati questioned.
She, moreover, said that the bank authorities in reply to the notice served by the Jorhat district administration have failed to provide the account-linked mobile phone number supposed to be mentioned in the account opening form as per Know Your Customer rules.
“If no mobile phone number was filled up in the account-opening form, then how come the account was allowed to be functional,” the Deputy Commissioner observed.
She said that whenever there is a transaction in a bank account, especially withdrawal, a message is received in the mobile phone number registered with the bank, which has to be filled up in the account-opening form.
Korati further said when a big amount was being withdrawn by producing cheques shown to be issued by Jorhat Deputy Commissioner from the said account in which all earlier transactions were done through NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) and RTGS Real Time Gross Settlement) mode, then bank authorities should have verified about the matter with the district administration authorities after receiving cheques seeking withdrawal of money.
Korati said that the fraudulent withdrawals from the said account came to light last month when she applied for a cheque book to make certain payments for GST and the passbook was updated.
It may be mentioned here that Dipak Bora was under investigation by police on suspicion of being involved in the mysterious fire that broke out in Room No 55 housing the Development branch in first floor of a building (Part of DC office complex) on February 19 last year. Several important files and computer sets got destroyed in the fire.
In two cases registered at the Jorhat Police Station in connection with the fire, Bora was suspected of being involved in the incident and was granted anticipatory bail from the court which prevented police from arresting him, a police source informed.
In both these cases, Bora has been charged under Sections 436, 120 (B) and 386 of the IPC. A magisterial probe ordered by Additional Deputy Commissioner Tapan Gohain to find out the cause of the fire as announced by Korati is yet to be completed as the report from State Forensic Science Laboratory in Guwahati was awaited.