1992 SBI Scam: Mumbai court acquits officials, Mehta’s brother

Mumbai: Nine people accused in 1992 security scam involving scam kingpin Harshad Mehta duping SBI to the tune of Rs 105 crores were acquitted by Mumbai’s special Court.

Ashwin Mehta and others were acquitted by Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, who presides over the special court formed for cases related to the 1992 securities scam.

Her verdict last week said that the prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Along with Ashwin Mehta (attorney for Harshad Mehta and also the stockbroker in the company) others acquitted are Rama Sitharaman, officer-in-charge of securities division of the SBI, and seven other officials — Bhushan Raut, C Ravi Kumar, S Suresh Babu, P Muralidharan, Ashok Agarwal, Janardhan Bandhopadhyay and Shyam Sundar Gupta.

According to the prosecution, SBI’s officials in collusion with the Mehta brothers cheated the bank to the tune of Rs 105 crore in the sale and purchase transactions of securities from 1991 to 1992.

While the prime accused Harshad Mehta died in 2001, the CBI argued the bank transactions will not take place without the knowledge of the accused bank officers.

The court observed that since the transactions were done form the main office branch, the case against the accused officers, who were in the securities division cannot be accepted.

“In light of the various gaps and missing links left open by the prosecution, may be on account of the death of Harshad Mehta and the discharge of many accused in the case from time to time, the fact remains that the charge of conspiracy could not be proved,” the court said.