Published On : Wed, May 15th, 2024

NDCCB scam: Sunil Kedar moves High Court seeking suspension of sentence

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Nagpur: Former minister and Congress leader Sunil Kedar has approached the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, seeking the suspension of the sentence in the Rs 150-crore Nagpur District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB) scam case.

The former Saoner MLA filed the case through senior counsels Surendra Kumar Mishra and Virat Mishra, praying for stay on the ongoing inquiry into the scam, which rocked Nagpur in 2002 and was one of the biggest offences in the country at that time.

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The Congress leader was accused of diverting bank funds to private entities for the purchase of government securities, which led to substantial financial losses for the bank. On December 23 last year, the JMFC court sentenced Kedar and five others, including the General Manager and directors of the Nagpur District Central Cooperative Bank, as well as the director of ‘Home Trade Pvt Ltd,’ to five years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh each. They were found guilty of misappropriating funds of the NDCCB.

Six persons were convicted, while three others were acquitted in this complex legal battle that lasted for almost 20 years. In January, Justice Urmila Joshi-Phalke granted bail to Kedar. Now, after almost five months, Kedar has againa pproached the High Court for the suspension of sentence. The High Court has issued notices to the State regarding Kedar’s application. The court is likely to hear Kedar’s plea after the summer vacation.

Kedar, a five-time MLA, was disqualified after he was convicted in the scam by the magisterial court on December 22, 2023. He was found guilty of committing illegal acts on September 14 and May 5, 2000, and on June 12, 2001, involving misappropriation of the bank funds under the guise of purchasing government securities based on illegal resolutions and forged documents.

The court noted that these funds were misappropriated under the pretence of investment through private brokers, including Home Trade Limited, Century Dealers, Giltage Management, Indramani Merchants, and Syndicate Management Services, who failed to purchase government securities, thus cheating the bank.

After his conviction, Kedar had approached the trial court seeking a stay on the inquiry and bail. However, the lower court dismissed his plea.

Subsequently, he moved the HC through Sunil Manohar and Devendra Chauhan. That case was also listed before Justice Joshi-Phalke, who granted him bail and suspended his sentence. After over five months, Kedar has moved the HC again.

According to the police, Kedar’s move was in anticipation of contesting the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls scheduled for October. Currently, he is barred from contesting any polls for six years due to his conviction of over two years. If he manages to get a stay from the HC, it would pave the way for his political comeback, and he would be back in the reckoning for the Assembly polls.

The State Legislature Secretariat disqualified him as member of the Lower House from the date of his conviction under provisions of Article 19 (1) (e) of the Constitution of India and Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.