The CBI has filed a chargesheet towards the previous worldwide head of the Gitanjali Group of Companies, Sunil Verma, and others in reference to an alleged fraud in the PNB involving an quantity of over Rs 7,080 crore, in which the promoter of the group, Mehul Choksi, is needed by the company.
The fugitive diamantaire who’s going through a renewed effort by Indian authorities in search of his deportation from Dominica the place he apparently fled to final month has been accused of destruction of proof for the primary time.
Two officers of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) — Sagar Sawant and Sanjay Prasad — and a director of the Gili and the Nakshatra manufacturers beneath the group, Dhanesh Seth, have additionally been named as accused in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The supplementary chargesheet, filed greater than three years after the primary chargesheet in the case towards Choksi and his corporations, coincides with the authorized proceedings towards the fugitive diamantaire in a courtroom of Dominica, the place he was arrested for “unlawful entry” on May 24 after his mysterious disappearance from neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda.
‘Not legally tenable’
“This supplementary chargesheet after three years reveals that it’s only an try to cowl up anomalies that the defence had identified in the primary chargesheet. Moreover, the addition of part 201 of the IPC for destruction of proof isn’t legally tenable as a doc turns into proof solely after its submitting in the courtroom and the allegations are of a interval a lot previous to the FIR,” Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal mentioned.
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Choksi was residing in Antigua and Barbuda since 2018, after he escaped from India in the primary week of January that 12 months, weeks earlier than the rip-off was reported. The diamantaire and his nephew, Nirav Modi, allegedly siphoned off over Rs 13,000 crore of public cash from the PNB utilizing letters of enterprise (LoUs) and international letters of credit score (FLCs) by bribing officers of the financial institution’s Brady House department in Mumbai.
From the whole rip-off quantity, Choksi’s corporations are accused of siphoning off Rs 7,080 crore via LoUs and FLCs, whereas Modi and his corporations have allegedly cheated to the tune of over Rs 6,498 crore, in line with the CBI. The company’s probe has to date discovered that 165 LoUs and 58 FLCs had been issued to Choksi’s corporations.
The CBI has claimed that its probe is constant in the matter and the ultimate quantity siphoned off by the accused continues to be beneath investigation. The company has slapped costs of prison conspiracy, dishonest, breach of belief, disappearance of proof, falsification of accounts, bribery and prison misconduct by public servant in its supplementary chargesheet filed earlier than a particular courtroom in Mumbai.
The CBI probe has revealed that from 2011 to 2017, the accused officers of the PNB, in a conspiracy with Choksi and his firm executives, fraudulently issued a big quantity of LoUs to abroad banks for acquiring purchaser’s credit score in favour of his corporations. These LoUs and FLCs had been allegedly issued to Choksi’s corporations with none sanctioned restrict or money margin and with out making entries in the financial institution’s central banking system to evade any scrutiny in case of a default.
LoUs are a assure given by a financial institution on behalf of its consumer to a international financial institution. In case the consumer doesn’t repay to the international financial institution, the legal responsibility falls on the guarantor financial institution. It is alleged that Choksi and Modi used the mechanism to get credit score from international banks, which was not repaid, bringing the legal responsibility of over Rs 13,000 crore on the PNB.
The investigation has additional revealed that the fraud was allegedly perpetrated regardless of circulars issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which was in the data of senior PNB officers, the CBI has alleged. Further, the PNB officers didn’t implement the circulars and warning notices issued by the RBI relating to safeguarding the SWIFT (worldwide banking messaging system) operations and as a substitute, misrepresented the factual state of affairs to the RBI, the company has alleged.
(With PTI Inputs)
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