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RTI News-Bank with Amit Shah as a director collected highest amount of banned notes among DCCBs: RTI reply

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Mumbai: A district cooperative bank, which has Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah as a director, netted the highest deposits among such banks of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that were abruptly demonetised on November 8, 2016, according to RTI replies received by a Mumbai activist.

The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) secured deposits of Rs 745.59 crore of the spiked notes - just five days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the demonetisation announcement. All the district cooperative banks were banned from accepting deposits of the banned currency notes from the public after November 14, 2016, - five days after demonetisation - on fears that black money would be laundered through this route.

According to the bank's website, Shah continues to be a director with the bank and has been in that position for several years. He was also the bank's chairman in 2000. ADCB's total deposits on March 31, 2017, were Rs 5050 crore and its net profit for 2016-17 was Rs 14.31 crore. Right behind ADCB, is the Rajkot District Cooperative Bank, whose chairman Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya is a cabinet minister in Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's government. It got deposits of old currencies worth Rs 693.19 crore. Interestingly, Rajkot is the hub of Gujarat BJP politics - Prime Minister Modi was first elected from there as a legislator in 2001.

Incidentally, the figures of Ahmedabad-Rajkot DCCBs are much higher than the apex Gujarat State Cooperative Bank Ltd, which got deposits of a mere Rs 1.11 crore. "The amount of deposits made in the State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) -revealed under RTI for first time since demonetisation - are astounding," Manoranjan S. Roy, the RTI activist who made the effort to get the information, said. The RTI information was given by the Chief General Manager and Appellate Authority, S Saravanavel, of the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD).

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Last night, web sections of some mainstream media organisations put up a story on how a district cooperative bank with Shah as its director collected the highest amount of demonetised notes. The story was picked up from the news agency, Indo-Asian News Service, or IANS, and is based on a Right To Information (RTI) reply sought by Manoranjan S Roy, a Mumbai-based activist.

This story, which appeared in The New Indian Express, Firstpost, Times Now and CNN News18, has now been pulled down. While it’s still up on Economic Times' website, the report makes no mention of Shah. 

The IANS story mentions Shah in the headline as well as the copy. Websites like Quint, The Wire and Moneylife have retained Shah's name in the headline as well as the copy. Last year, Times Group and DNAalso pulled down a story on Shah's affidavit.


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