The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday questioned former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Harun Rashid Khan in connection with the Rs 130-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, involving Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, and the relaxation of gold import rules in 2014 by the erstwhile UPA government allegedly to the benefit of private traders.
Khan is the senior-most former official of the RBI to be questioned by the CBI in the case. Sources said the questioning revolved around the policy framework of the time when fraudulent letters of undertaking were issued by PNB to Nirav and Choksi firms.
He was also questioned on the 20:80 gold import scheme, cleared by then finance minister P Chidambaram on May 13, 2014, barely three days before the counting of votes of the general elections. The scheme had allegedly helped Choksi’s company and a few others make windfall gains.
After questioning the PNB top brass, the agency has now shifted its focus to the policies that could have been exploited by Nirav and Choksi. The agency did not reveal the nature of Khan’s questioning. Khan was in charge of financial markets, internal debt management departments and foreign management at the RBI.
The CBI on Thursday questioned three chief general managers and one general manager of the RBI, agency officials said. The four officials were asked questions related to the UPA government’s gold import scheme.