PMC bank depositors protest outside Killa Court, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)
PMC bank depositors protest outside Killa Court, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

Court extends custody of 3 accused in PMC case

  • Mumbai Police's EOW, which had arrested the trio, produced them before the court as their custody ended on Wednesday
  • Besides the trio, police have also arrested Joy Thomas, former managing director of the PMC Bank, who will be in police custody till 17 Oct

Mumbai: Police custody of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan as well as Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank Ltd’s former chairman Waryam Singh have been extended till 14 October.

A special court of Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) extended custody of all three for further investigation. EOW officer and senior inspector Kishor Parab told the court that the police have discovered “falsification of many documents during the course of interrogation of the accused".

PMC bank depositors protest outside Killa Court, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)
PMC bank depositors protest outside Killa Court, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

EOW arrested all three last week for their alleged involvement in a 4,355-crore fraud at PMC Bank. The Wadhawans were arrested on 3 October and Singh two days later.

Former managing director of PMC Bank Joy Thomas is also in EOW’s custody till 17 October.

Whenever questioning throws up new information, the accused are brought face to face, Parab told the court, requesting more time to continue with the exercise. Defence lawyers did not challenge the petition for an extended custody.

While the accused were presented in court, hundreds of angry PMC Bank depositors protested outside, some of whom threw water bottles at a defence lawyer’s vehicle.

This is the second time the court has extended custody of the Wadhawans on a request by the EOW. Given the size of the scam, a detailed investigation is required, EOW had told the court earlier, while seeking remand for the Wadhawans. The agency had said that 70% of PMC Bank’s loans went to HDIL through around 21,000 fictitious accounts in an attempt to “camouflage the unaccounted loans".

A PMC bank depositor breaks down during a protest outside Killa Court, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)
A PMC bank depositor breaks down during a protest outside Killa Court, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

Amit Desai, who represented the HDIL promoters, had said that 49 land parcels belonging to the real estate firm are with the bank. In addition, fixed deposits worth 158 crore are also available to the bank, he added.

The arrest of the two promoters comes on the back of their alleged involvement in financial irregularities at PMC Bank, which prompted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to impose regulatory restrictions on the lender for six months. It imposed the restrictions due to concerns over large sums of loans being given to HDIL.

On 30 September, EOW filed a first information report (FIR) against HDIL and PMC Bank officials, including Thomas. The FIR alleged possible fraud and wrongful loss of 4,355 crore and charges of cheating against HDIL.

EOW has seized properties worth 4000 crore in the PMC Bank scam so far.

The scam surfaced when PMC’s Thomas wrote to RBI that the bank’s exposure to bankrupt HDIL is over 6,500 crore—four times the regulatory cap, or 73% of its entire assets of 8,880 crore.

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