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Thursday, December 12, 2019

PMC Bank ‘scam’: Promoter seeks pre-arrest bail, says issue exploited due to elections

At least nine depositors of PMC Bank were detained Tuesday when they tried to meet Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an event in Mumbai, police said.

| Mumbai | Updated: November 6, 2019 10:57:24 am
PMC Bank depositors protest outside NSE in BKC, as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends an event on Tuesday. (Express photo: Nirmal Harindran)

A PROMOTER of Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank has approached the sessions court seeking anticipatory bail, claiming that he was not involved in the day-to-day affairs and operations of the bank and was himself a victim of concealment of information.

Surjit Singh Narang, who was a part of the bank’s executive committee, in his anticipatory bail plea said he has been wrongly implicated in the case “for catering to public sentiments”.  Earlier, Dr Parmeet Sodhi, a director in the bank, had approached the court seeking pre-arrest bail. The Mumbai Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) is likely to file its responses on the two applications later this week.

“Since the acts of the investigating agency in the PMC Bank fraud are more driven by public sentiments and since the common man perceives that a major fraud has been perpetrated in this case and since a common man finds it difficult to accept that that a director of the bank cannot be involved in the perceived fraud, sooner or later, the applicant is likely to be summoned,” the plea states. It adds that due to the Assembly elections in Maharashtra, the issue was “politically exploited to the hilt” and there was “pressure to lodge police complaints against the bank management and officials”.

In his plea, Narang said, that he was “not even remotely connected” with the alleged acts of falsification of records and concealment of information regarding the turning of HDIL Group Accounts into Non-Performing Assets. “The applicant was not even aware of the Loans and Advances made by the Bank to HDIL Group, let alone be a part of the acts of falsification and concealment,” the plea states, adding that the probe has taken the nature of a “fishing enquiry”.

He said that since the board of directors are not involved in the daily affairs of the bank, any knowledge about the bank is restricted to inputs from the professional management team and the audit reports.

Meanwhile, at least nine depositors of PMC Bank were detained Tuesday when they tried to meet Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an event in Mumbai, police said.

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