The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday arrested Hilal Rather, son of National Conference leader and former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather, in a bank fraud case involving Rs 177 core.
"Hilal Rather was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Jammu today in a case related to the alleged misappropriation of crores of rupees from the term loans running into Rs 177 crores sanctioned by Jammu and Kashmir Bank for his ambitious township project known as Paradise Avenue at Narwal Bala Jammu in the year 2012," an ACB spokesman said.
Hilal's father Abdul Rahim Rather was the finance minister of the erstwhile state in 2012 when the loan was taken from the bank.
The ACB spokesman said the investigation conducted by the ACB has revealed that Paradise Avenue, a partnership concern of Hilal Rather, Dr Rizwan Raheem Dar of Sanat Nagar, Srinagar, Ghulam Mohd Bhatt of Baramulla, Kashmir, Daljeet Wadhera and Deepshikha Jamwal of Jammu was sanctioned a term loan of Rs 74.27 crores in the first phase.
In relaxation to the bank's credit policy, which restricts loan to a partnership firm at Rs 40 crores, the loan was approved by the Board of Directors of the J&K Bank despite the fact that Hilal had already entered into a one-time settlement with the State Financial Corporation in the past, he said.
"The remaining loan amounts were granted by the Board despite the fact that the repayments of the first loan taken was not complete," the spokesperson said.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had registered a case on June 28 and conducted raids after unearthing the loan fraud, he said.
He said Hilal Rather, who also owns Simula Group of Companies, was being questioned for the past few months by the Bureau in connection with the siphoning off crores of rupees from the loan amount sanctioned by the New University Campus Branch of J&K Bank for the construction of flats under the name of Paradise Avenue.
"He has been evading details of property raised and others transaction related to siphoning off of funds meant for construction," the spokesman said.
"Hilal Rather has been taken into custody for further questioning. It has also been revealed that the funds diverted have been used to purchase huge properties abroad, holidaying abroad with family and friends and also for other entertainment activities. All the loan amounts availed by Hilal Ahmed Rather to tune of Rs.177 crore have become NPA," he added.