Days after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed chargesheet against HDIL promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan in connection with the multi-crore Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank scam, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police on Friday filed its first chargesheet in the case. The EOW submitted a 32,959 page chargesheet against five persons in Rs 6,300 crore fraud case in a metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai. The chargesheet has statements of 340 witnesses, including account holders in the bank.
The chargesheet has named PMC Bank's erstwhile chairman Waryam Singh, former managing director Joy Thomas, former director of the bank Surjit Singh Arora, along with Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan.
The Police had arrested all the five accused soon after the scam came to light in September this year, and they are currently in judicial custody. Apart from these five, the Police has also arrested seven other bank officials, and the supplementary charge sheet will be filed against them later.
The EOW chargesheet against the accused is under Section 420 (fraud), Section 201 (destruction of evidence), Section 477(A) (Falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Also, Sections 408, 419, 467, 468, 120 (B) of IPC have been added in the FIR.
The chargesheet includes the forensic audit report of PMC bank, details regarding diversions of funds by the prime accused Wadhawans ,documents of properties purchased by the accused bank officials and kickbacks received by accused bank officials from HDIL Promoters. The chargesheet also elaborates on how 21,000 fake accounts were created by bank officials to hoodwink Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the NPAs and bad loans for the loans given to HDIL and group companies.
Earlier on December 16, the ED submitted a 7,000 page chargesheet in the case at the PMLA court, naming HDIL Promoters as main accused, while PMC Bank officials Waryam Singh and Joy Thomas have been named as accused in the case.
The fraud at PMC Bank came to light in September this year after the RBI placed directions on the urban co-operative bank and placed an administrator. The central bank discovered that the bank had allegedly created fictitious accounts to hide over Rs 6,700 crore in loans extended to the almost-bankrupt HDIL. The chargesheet stated that the scam was of around Rs 4,700 crores in the primary chargesheet, but the audit report estimated the bank's loss at around Rs 6,700 crore.
The move had left lakhs of depositors in lurch as they couldn't withdraw their money from the accounts. The withdrawal limit for account holders was initially kept at Rs 1,000 per day, which was increased gradually to Rs 50,000.
In a latest development, PMC Bank has invited applications for the appointment of valuer for auction of the seized assets including the aircraft and yachts. This is being seen as a one step closer to the revival of the crisis-hit PMC Bank. Proposals are invited by 17:00 hours (IST) on 05 January, 2020, PMC Bank said in an advertisement.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar