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1-min read

More skeletons in Patil's closet

The Reserve Bank of India revoked the licence of the co-operative bank set up by her in Jalgaon.

News18test sharma |

Updated:June 25, 2007, 12:43 PM IST
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More skeletons in Patil's closet
The Reserve Bank of India revoked the licence of the co-operative bank set up by her in Jalgaon.
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New Delhi: The race to Raisina Hill is becoming murkier by the day with the next likely Indian President Pratibha Patil being mired in fresh controversy each day.

After reports showed her family defaulted on a bank loan worth Rs 17 cr invested in a cooperative sugar factory, documents available with CNN-IBN show that in 2003, the Reserve Bank of India revoked the licence of the co-operative bank set up by her in Jalgaon.

The licence was revoked because the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari bank faced allegations of serious financial irregularities.

Allegations listed by the RBI include a faulty loan policy of the bank and loan interest waivers given to Patil's relatives.

The bank was set up to help the people, particularly the women, of Jalgaon. But documents show that the list of relatives who received loans include Patil's brothers and nephews.

Another list of relatives allegedly got a waiver worth lakhs of penal interest and were allowed to close their accounts before the bank was shut down.

The RBI also slammed the bank for not having a single person on the board who had knowledge of banking or management.

Last week, a cooperative sugar factory, of which Pratibha was the founder-president, was been declared a defaulter for failing to return a Rs 17. 5-crore bank loan.

Pratibha quit the Sant Mukthai Cooperative Sugar Factory in 1996, but her brother G N Patil continues to be the president of the cooperative in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district.

The factory owes the Mumbai District Cooperative Bank Rs 17.5 crore.

The loans were taken in 1994. Bank officials say the loan has not been repaid despite repeated reminders. The bank has regularly been sending notices to the cooperative of which Pratibha was the president.

In a notice sent nearly a fortnight ago, the bank has threatened to attach the factory's properties.

The bank has categorically denied malafide intent saying the other 14 factories had also been served similar notice.

Pratibha, a former Rajasthan governor, is expected to win the Presidential election smoothly. In an incident related to the election, a woman on Friday claimed that Pratibha’s brother was involved in her husband’s murder in Jalgaon.

Rajni Patil claimed at a press conference organized by an NDA ally that Pratibha had “protected” her brother and interfered with the murder investigation.

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