Co-op bank case: Govt. may have to change investigation officer, says HC

He is unable to trace K. Ramakrishna, president of Sri Guru Raghavendra Cooperative Bank Ltd.

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday said that the State government may have to change the Investigation Officer of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) if he is unable to trace K. Ramakrishna, president of Sri Guru Raghavendra Cooperative Bank Ltd., who is absconding despite rejection of his plea for anticipatory bail.

“The IO must submit a report explaining why Ramakrishna has not been arrested so far. It is pointed out that he [Ramakrishna] is a political figure and tried to contest for the Rajya Sabha poll. The IO should ensure that all accused required for custody be taken into custody and place a report on steps taken for the arrest of Ramakrishna,” the court observed in its order.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi made the observations during the hearing of a batch of PIL petitions, filed by depositors, on the alleged fraud by the erstwhile management of the bank, which is now under the control of an administrator appointed by the State government.

The bench also sought action initiated on 27 “influential borrowers” whose list was furnished to the police in the complaint lodged in February this year while directing the IO to submit a report in this regard.

Earlier, the advocate representing a group of petitioners, while complaining about inaction on the absconding president, had also pointed out to the bench that no investigation appears to have been carried out on 27 borrowers, including political persons, who have borrowed huge sums of money, and one person had borrowed ₹153 crore and the head of a famous mutt had borrowed ₹12 crore.

Meanwhile, the bench directed the State government to appoint competent authority to the Sri Guru Sarvabhouma Souharda Credit Cooperative Ltd., which is also managed by persons on the bank’s board, under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act, 2004.


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Sagar Biswas

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