Govt orders SFIO enquiry into Global Trust Bank

The corporate affairs ministry, which had ordered scrutiny of the books of GTB by the Registrar of Companies earlier this month, has "prima facie found evidence of fund diversion, serious financial irregularities and accounts manipulation by the management

The government has ordered an Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe into alleged fund diversion and accounts manipulation by the management of erstwhile Global Trust Bank (GTB), involved in the stock market scam of 2001 engineered by share broker Ketan Parekh, reports PTI.

The corporate affairs ministry, which had ordered technical scrutiny of the books of GTB by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) earlier this month, has "prima facie found evidence of fund diversion, serious financial irregularities and accounts manipulation by the management," official sources told PTI.

"The SFIO has been asked to submit its report on the enquiry into GTB within three months and six officers have been designated for the probe," according to a corporate affairs ministry official.

The SFIO probe, the official said, would be carried out under Section 235 of the Companies Act under which the investigating agency can call for information or explanation from a company.

No contacts could be established with Ramesh Gelli, former chairman and managing director of GTB.

The GTB matter dates back to 2004 when the bank collapsed following reckless lending to entities associated with the Ketan Parekh stock market scandal.

GTB became sick due to mounting bad debts of over Rs1,400 crore and was later taken over by Oriental Bank of Commerce in 2004.

When asked, what prompted the MCA to initiate a probe after six years of the bank's fall, a senior official said the finance ministry had been repeatedly asking it to scan the role of the management in the scam.

Popularly known as a new generation private sector bank, GTB had commenced operations in 1994 after RBI granted licence to former ADB executive Jayanta Madhab. Ramesh Gelli was the CMD of the bank, while Sridhar Subasri served as executive director.

Earlier, investigations by various agencies like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have revealed that GTB had taken
 

 
 

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