A SPECIAL court Tuesday rejected the CBI’s plea to conduct polygraph and narco-analysis tests on former Punjab National Bank (PNB) staffer Gokulnath Shetty, arrested for allegedly conniving with absconding diamond jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The CBI had last month moved applications in separate cases of alleged conspiracy to defraud PNB to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore, seeking lie-detector tests on Shetty claiming it wanted to ascertain the “undue pecuniary advantage” he obtained in violating bank rules in favour of Modi and Choksi.
Shetty (63) had objected to the CBI pleas stating that he has been in jail since March 2018 and that it had caused deterioration in his health. He added the CBI had not clarified as to why it wanted to conduct the tests at the cost of his health and life, when he has been in custody since 18 months and has cooperated with the probe.
Special Judge V C Barde said that with consent to the tests denied by the accused, no such test can be held by the CBI. The court relied on a Supreme Court judgment passed in 2010 which disallows any such tests without the consent of the accused. The CBI had claimed that despite its probe, it had not been able to ascertain whether Shetty had received any pecuniary advantage by issuing fraudulent Letters of Understanding in favour of companies belonging to Modi and Choksi. The CBI claims that Shetty, who was a deputy general manager at the Brady House branch of PNB, had issued over 150 LoUs to overseas branches of banks in favour of Modi and Choksi’s firms.