The Opposition Congress in Kerala on Saturday urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to hand over the investigation into the Rs 300 crore Karuvannur Cooperative bank scam to CBI, alleging that there was not much progress in the ongoing probe by the state agencies.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan wrote to Vijayan, stating that the southern state could not afford the collapse of the cooperative sector and asked him not to let the depositors plunge into uncertainty.
”It was not just the staff behind the Rs 300 crore Karuvannur bank scam. There was a high level conspiracy behind the fraud. There has been no progress in the probe being conducted by the state agencies. So, the government should be ready to hand over the case to the CBI,” he said.
Pointing out that there is some lapse in the present deposit guarantee scheme in the cooperative banks, Satheesan demanded that the CM provide guarantee to the whole amount deposited by people.
He wanted the government to bring an ordinance to make changes to the present clause that the deposit guarantee scheme would come into force only when the bank went into liquidation.
He also termed as ‘unfortunate’ the recent death of one of the depositors, who was denied money for advanced treatment despite having lakhs of rupees as deposit in the scam-hit Karuvannur bank.
Noting that people who deposited their money in the bank were deeply anxious, the veteran leader said it was the responsibility of the government to protect and retain the credibility of the cooperative sector.
The ruling CPI(M)-controlled Karuvannur Cooperative bank has been in news for the last one year after crores-worth loan scam was reported there and also over the protest staged by investors demanding their money back.
The loan scam was reported in the bank, located in Thrissur district, in July 2021, following which a case was registered against six bank officials and an inquiry launched.
After several people including local customers raised apprehensions about the bank’s functioning, an audit was conducted there recently, in which the charges were reportedly found to be true.
During the inspection, it was also found that loans were sanctioned on the property pledged by local customers without their knowledge and the loan amount was credited multiple times to the selected account. Following the allegations, the 13-member committee of the Marxist party-ruled bank was disbanded.