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Mumbai Police registers FIR against senior officials of HDIL, PMC Bank

At the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank s Sion branch. (Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Mumbai Police Monday registered an FIR on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against executive chairman of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) Rakesh Wadhawan, vice chairman and managing director of the company Sarang Wadhawan, former managing director of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank Joy Thomas, and the bank s chairman Waryam Singh, in addition to unidentified officials of PMC Bank and HDIL.

The offence was registered on the basis of the complaint given by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), following the collapse of the bank. The RBI had stepped in and put restrictions on withdrawals after the crisis at the bank came to light last week owing mainly to massive non-performing assets (NPA) that were underreported.

An officer said that an offence under sections 409, 420, 465, 466, 471 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code that deal with cheating, forgery and conspiracy was registered by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police. He added that the FIR was taken after a complaint was given by RBI. As per the complaint, Thomas, Singh and other officials along with HDIL director Wadhawan from 2008 to August 2019 took loans from PMC Bank s Bhandup branch which later turned an NPA.

Inspite of the loans turning into NPAs, they were not declared as such and this information was deliberately kept hidden from the RBI, the officer said.

He added that fake bank documents were also created that showed that a lower amount had been given out on loan to HDIL. The documents were then presented to RBI, thereby massively underreporting values of NPAs.

Another senior officer said they are in the process of identifying others persons involved.

PIL in high court challenging RBI directive limiting withdrawals

Mumbai: Nine account holders of PMC Bank and an NGO have filed a PIL before the Bombay High Court challenging the RBI s directive capping the withdrawal limit for depositors at Rs 10,000 for six months. The petitioners are likely to mention the PIL on Tuesday before the bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre.

The NGO, Consumer Action Network (CAN), and the account holders, in their PIL stated that the RBI has initiated an arbitrary and irrational direction without disclosing any reasons to all depositors without any prior intimation.

It said that the six-month restriction imposed by the RBI on depositors is detrimental to account holders at large who have invested their money in PMC bank. ENS