New Delhi: In a major crackdown against rising reports of bank frauds, the CBI blitzed through more than 50 locations, conducting searches in over 20 cities across the country on Tuesday. The bank fraud cases adds up to approximately Rs 1,114.06 crore, officials here said.Calling it a “special drive” against bank fraud cases, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered 17 separate cases of bank fraud, one of which pertains to absconding diamond merchant Jatin Mehta of Winsome Diamonds, which is already embroiled in a bank fraud of over Rs 6,000 crore. This brings the total number of cases against Mehta’s Winsome Diamonds to 16 as of now. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chiefIn addition to booking more than 17 companies in these cases, the CBI has also implicated a number of bank officials who were allegedly complicit in the crimes and in some cases conspired with the accused to defraud the banks. CBI sleuths swooped-in on the premises of the accused companies, their directors, and in some cases implicated bank officials, recovering a large number of documents, electronic storage devices, and in some cases, keys to personal lockers. At one of the locations, agency officials also recovered Rs 10 lakh in cash. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoCThe searches were conducted in cities such as Mumbai, Ludhiana, New Delhi, Palani, Thirupur, Kolar, Bengaluru, Gaya, Gurugram, Aligarh, Chandigarh, Bhavanigarh, Fazilka, Muktsar, Bhopa, Surat, Bhuvaneshwar, Puri, Raigarh, North 24 Parganas and Pune among others. The raids in some of the 17 cases are still underway, officials here added. While most of the cases registered pertain to small amounts of bank fraud ranging from Rs 5 crore to around Rs 200 crore, committed by small firms in the textile, trading, and food industry, a co-ordinated action of this sort comes as part of a regular clean-up by the CBI in investigating cases of bank fraud. With this decisive action, the total number of bank fraud cases registered by the CBI in 2019, so far has come up to 31, with the total amount approximately Rs 8,587.05 crore.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) welcomed the cabinet decisions to appointment another committee to address the reforms needed to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.The ministry of Justice had earlier appointed a committee of 17 eminent representatives of the Muslim community under the leadership of former Supreme Court Judge, Saleem Marsoof to make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. This report has still not been released. The Muslim Council however said it is deeply concerned about the statement made by Sagala Ratnayake, the Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development at the cabinet media briefing on 26th November 26th 2016 that the reforms to the Muslim Marriages and Divorce Act has to be enacted as part of the conditions to regain the GSP Plus concessions from the European community. “There is certainly a need ammend the Muslim Marriages and Divorce Act, but this has to be done in consultation with the Muslim religious leadership and the Muslim community in Sri Lanka and not at the dictates of the European Union or the International Community. The demand by the international community to intervene in a religious issue could cause irreparable damage to co-existence in Sri Lanka,” the Muslim Council said. Similarly, the Muslim Council says there is widespread concern that the North and Eastern provinces would be merged by the current administration to accommodate the demands of the international community.“The foreign policy of the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe administration should not be on the dictates of the International Community but in the best interest of the citizens of this country,” the Muslim Council added. The Muslim Council urged the Government to address the concerns of the Muslims through a consultation process with Muslim political, religious and Civil Society leadership. (Colombo Gazette)