Hyderabad: The sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have booked Pachikalapadu Ravishankar, former assistant manager of State Bank of India, Thorrur branch, for siphoning Rs 3.1 crore meant for Self Help Groups (SHGs). The CBI acted on a complaint filed by Sonthi Sriramakrisha, regional manager of SBI, Warangal district of Telangana.

The crime

P Ravishankar served as the assistant manager for Thorrur branch between 2016 and 2019. During his term, he entered into a criminal conspiracy with some persons and illegally transferred money that was allocated for the SHGs. The funds were transferred to private accounts including those of his family members.

"Ravishankar transferred funds from accounts maintained by the SHGs and the Kishan Credit Card (KCC) to his wife Padmaja, aunt Samanthaka Mani, father Ganganna, and sister Maddya Sunitha. Later, he withdrew cash from these accounts for his use committing misappropriation and causing wrongful loss to the bank to the tune of Rs 3.1 crore. He also passed on the benefits to resource persons for SHG who were employed by SERP, Telangana. The SHG resource persons coordinate with the government authority and the bank," the CBI said.

How did the crime surface?

In 2019, The commission received a complaint from the Soni Mahila Podupu Sangham from Ammapuram village about an unauthorised debit of Rs 5 lakh from their SB account. Based on her complaint, an independent investigation was conducted. The probe revealed that Ravishankar debited money from Soni's account and credited Rs 3 lakh to a person named A Sampath Kumar and the remaining Rs 2 lakh to another individual, Gattu Rajkumar. When the crime surfaced, Ravishankar paid back the amount to Soni in 2020.

However, the branch received several similar complaints from other beneficiaries. Further investigation revealed that Ravishankar transacted Rs 3.1 crore. "The accused was in a habit of collecting duly filled and signed SHGs loan documents from the SHG resource persons who coordinate with the SHGs. His role is to support and assist SHG group members for smooth and speedy sanctions and disbursements of loans but instead, he had cheated them," the CBI said.

The investigating agency booked a case under Section 120 B, 420 and 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code and 13 (1) (a) r/w 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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