SC to decide maintainability of plea for court-monitored probe into PNB fraud
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it will decide whether the PIL seeking a court-monitored probe into the over Rs11,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case is maintainable or not.
A bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud was told by the centre that agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Income Tax department and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) are independently probing the PNB scam.
Attorney general K.K. Venugopal sought dismissal of the PIL seeking a court-monitored probe into the alleged scam saying multiple agencies are already probing the matter. The attorney general was opposing a plea filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda, who has sought an independent probe in the PNB case and a direction to the government to get diamond merchant Nirav Modi deported.
The CBI has already registered two FIRs—one on 31 January and another in February—against billionaire Nirav Modi, his relative Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems and others for allegedly defrauding the bank of about Rs11,400 crore.
The PIL has made PNB, the Reserve Bank of India and the ministries of finance and law and justice parties. It has sought a direction for initiation of deportation proceedings against Nirav Modi and others allegedly involved in the banking fraud, preferably within two months. It has also asked for a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case, allegedly involving Nirav Modi and Choksi, and a probe into the role of the top management of PNB.
The plea has sought a direction to the finance ministry to frame guidelines on the grant and disbursal of loans involving big amounts, besides ensuring safety and recovery of such loans. It has also sought the setting up of a body of experts to deal with cases of bad banking debts in the country.
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