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114-bn PNB fraud: SC to hear PIL seeking SIT probe on Wednesday

The plea has sought a direction to the finance ministry to frame guidelines on the grant and disbursal of loans involving big amounts

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Income Tax,enforcement directorate, ED,Gitanjali groups,SEZ, income tax act, Mehul Choksi,Punjab national bank, PNB, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), diamond merchant nirav modi, jewellery designer nirav modi,
Security guards stand inside Nirav Modi showroom in New Delhi (Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Court will hear a plea seeking an SIT probe and billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi's deportation in the over Rs 114 billion fraud case on Wednesday.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on Tuesday considered lawyer J P Dhanda's submission that the scam was of enormous magnitude and the plea be listed for urgent hearing.

"On mentioning, the matter is taken on board. List the matter on February 21 before the appropriate bench as per the roster," the court said.

The court had said in the morning that it would hear the matter on Friday.

The PIL, filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda, has made Punjab Bank, Reserve Bank of India and the ministries of finance and law and justice parties.

It has sought a direction for the initiation of deportation proceedings of and others allegedly involved in the banking fraud, preferably within two months.

The plea has asked for a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the banking fraud, allegedly involving billionaire jewellers and Mehul Choksi.

It has also asked for a probe into the role of the top management of the Bank (PNB).

The plea has sought a direction to the finance ministry to frame guidelines on the grant and disbursal of loans involving big amounts.

"Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Finance Ministry and the RBI to frame guidelines in granting of the loan of the 10 crore (Rs 100 million) and above to ensure safety and recovery of such loans," the PIL said.

It has also sought the setting up of an experts body to deal with cases of bad banking debts in the country.

Besides, the petition wants framing of rules for the recovery of loans from the defaulters within a stipulated period, even by attaching their properties and auctioning them in the open market.

In his PIL. Dhanda has asked for a direction to fasten liabilities on the employees of a bank for sanctioning loans on the basis of deficient documents and said loans should also be recovered by attaching the properties of such bank officials even after their retirement.

Another plea, filed by advocate M L Sharma, had said the SIT should consist of retired judges of the apex court while claiming that the banking fraud has caused serious injury to the general public and the state's treasury.

It should be investigated not by an agency "being controlled by the political leaders/authorities", Sharma's petition said.

The plea alleged that loans were issued in the case without following RBI's financial rules and regular systems.

The CBI has already registered two FIRs -- one on January 31 and another a few days ago -- against billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his relative Mehul Choksi of and others for allegedly defrauding the of about Rs 114 billion.

First Published: Tue, February 20 2018. 18:55 IST