Chronicle of a 21-Year Heist: Officials Sentenced for Forgery Saga

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A special CBI court sentenced a former SBI officer and two ex-SAIL officials to seven years in prison for a 21-year-old forgery and corruption case. The accused face a Rs 20,000 fine each, with non-payment leading to additional jail time. The charges stem from a conspiracy involving a borrower and directors causing an Rs 18.40 crore loss to SBI. The court, considering the gravity of the offenses, denied leniency. One accused, DK Gandotra, died during the trial.


In a significant legal development, a special CBI court handed down a seven-year jail term to Buta Ram Ghai, former SBI assistant/clerk, and two ex-SAIL officers, Shankar Batra and Ashwani Oberoi. The charges, related to a 21-year-old case, involve forgery and corruption, leading to a combined fine of Rs 20,000 for each accused. Failure to pay could result in an additional two months of imprisonment.

The case, initiated in 2002, revolves around a criminal conspiracy during October 1995 to July 1996. The accused, including DK Gandotra (now deceased) and BD Aggarwal & Sons, allegedly defrauded SBI, causing a substantial loss of Rs 18.40 crore. The court's order emphasized the gravity of the offenses and deemed the case unfit for leniency.

Despite the demise of DK Gandotra during the trial, the court proceeded with the sentencing, highlighting the enduring impact of the 21-year-old saga. The legal action underscores the commitment to accountability and justice, even in long-pending cases.


In concluding this legal chapter, the court's stern stance underscores the severity of the forgery and corruption charges. The seven-year sentence and financial penalties serve as a resolute message against malpractices within financial institutions. This case, spanning two decades, reaffirms the justice system's dedication to holding individuals accountable for their actions, irrespective of the time elapsed.

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