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We will not spare anyone found guilty in $1.8 bn fraud case, says PNB MD

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PNB MD

New Delhi, Feb 15: Punjab National Bank (PNB) MD Sunil Mehta on Thursday said we will not spare anyone involved in $1.8 bn fraud case, adding the state-owned lender capability and capacity to come out of this situation and steps are being taken to protect the financial interest of banks. 

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted a countrywide raid on properties of billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi. ED teams carried out simultaneous raids on Modi’s in Mumbai, Surat (Gujarat) and New Delhi.

“We are known for clean banking. The fraud started in 2011. We have brought it under the notice of regulatory and law enforcement agencies as soon as we came to know about it. We will not spare anyone involved in the fraudulent practice,” Mehta told media here in a hurriedly called presser.

The fraud was detected on January 25 and was reported to the investigative agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on January 29, news agency IANS quoted PNB MD was saying.

Mehta stated he had received a “vague email” from the customers involved in the fraudulent transaction about settling the dues and the lender had asked them to send their detailed response. He said the transactions were detected in only one branch and no other branches were involved.

As for other banks, he said overseas branches of other Indian banks were affected by the transactions, except in one case. His answer was in response to a question whether any foreign bank branch was also affected.

“We have scanned all our branches also. This is a standalone case in one of our branches and we have scanned other branches also. There is nothing (such) in other branches,” he added.

Describing the matter as “sensitive”, Mehta said the bank has sought some “breathing time” from the related parties to bring the culprits to book.

The PNB chief said the finance ministry was taking stock of the matter on a day-to-day basis and would “come down heavily in support of booking the culprits”.

“We have the capabilities and capacities to come out of the situation,” he added.

“We have not only lodged the complaint against the culprits, we have also registered a complaint against our employees also who were involved in the matter,” Mehta said.

“We are confident and committed to resolve the issue. We will honour all our bonafide commitments. We will not shirk our responsibilities,” he added.

Regarding recovery of the amount, PNB MD stated: “We have already initiated the process. ED is also seizing the properties, seizing the current assets and we hope good amount we will be able to recover.”

He further added: that “LOU (Letter of Undertaking) has not been converted into funded transaction so far, so it is a contingent liability… This matter we will decide after the completion of the investigation. If the investigation process say it is your liability, we will accept it.

WeForNews 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With IANS inputs 

India

CM Amarinder praises farmers for lifting blockade on goods

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Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday welcomed the farmer unions’ decision to allow movement of goods trains, saying it was in the interest of the state’s economy and its revival.

Thanking the farmer unions for heeding his appeal, the Chief Minister said the farmers had shown their love and concern for the people of Punjab with this move, as it will allow the state to get its much-needed coal supplies.He pointed out that the people of Punjab had been facing a total power shutdown as a result of coal shortage due to the blockade, and the decision of the unions had come as a major relief to them.Singh said in a statement here that farmer organisations, with this decision, had also ensured that the industry would not have to suffer anymore but would get back on the path to revival.The ‘rail roko’ of the farmers had caused huge financial losses to the industry, thus compounding the crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic.

Further, said the Chief Minister, the easing of the blockade for goods trains will help the state replenish its critically low urea supplies, thus catering to the urgent need of the farming community for fertilisers.The farmers had not let the state down, and he would personally ensure that his government never lets them down, said Amarinder Singh.He reiterated his commitment to save their livelihood and lives, both of which were facing acute danger as a result of the Centre’s ‘black’ farm laws.The Chief Minister, however, urged the unions to also lift the blockade on passenger trains, which were catering to tens of thousands of Punjabis every day, especially during festive times.”The people of Punjab want to come back home to celebrate the festival season with their families,” he said, appealing to the farmers to allow the movement of passenger trains too in the interest of Punjabis.

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Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea against appointing SPPs in riots cases

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Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned till November 9 the hearing on a plea against the appointment of Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) in cases of riots and violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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SC allows trust to operate banks accounts to pay bills, taxes

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has permitted the Maharwal Khewaji Trust, which manages the Rs 20,000-crore property of erstwhile princely state of Faridkot, to operate bank accounts to pay salaries to staff and meet expenses on utilities bills and taxes etc.

In June, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled that the will of Harinder Singh Brar, the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state, was forged in favour of the Maharwal Khewaji Trust on June 1, 1982.

The High Court had said that his two daughters, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Maharani Deepinder Kaur, were entitled to inherit and share the properties.

The trust had moved the Supreme Court against this order. The top court had ordered for a status quo and allowed the trust to continue as caretaker.

Last Friday, a bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat said: “Since the activities undertaken by the Trust are in the nature of running a hospital and other philanthropic causes, at this stage, we permit the applicant Trust to operate the accounts mentioned in Paragraph 12 of the application strictly for the purposes enumerated at serial numbers 2 to 7 in Paragraph 8 of the application.”

The expenses include those on salaries, amounts due towards security agency, utilities bills, advance tax and GST payments and the statutory payments towards ESI and EPF.

The bench ordered that details of all expenses incurred as well as credits received should be placed before it periodically.

“The first report shall be filed on or before October 30; and the second report thereafter be submitted on or before November 30, ” said the top court.

Senior Advocates V Giri and Krishnan Venugopal opposed the prayer and submitted that in the name of meeting the expenditure towards fulfilling the objectives of the Trust, the amounts are being misused and, as such, the relief prayed for should not to be granted.

The top court’s order came on an interlocutory application filed by Trust that during the pendency of these petitions it may be permitted to operate its bank accounts.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Dhruv Mehta, appearing for the applicant, submitted that though there was no express order of injunction, the banks concerned have frozen the Trust accounts, as a result of which its activities are getting seriously prejudiced. They urged the top court to allow these accounts to be operated during the pendency of petitions.

The top court also directed the bank managers concerned to submit statements of accounts from June 1 to October 30. The top court listed the matter for disposal on November 4.

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