India Markets open in 4 hrs 37 mins

PMC scam — Six died after losing money, 9 lakh affected: EOW to court

Mumbai Police has opposed the bail plea of PMC Bank director Parmeet Sodhi. File

OPPOSING THE anticipatory bail application of one of the directors of the scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, the Mumbai Police on Friday told a special court that while six persons have lost their lives after losing their money due to the alleged fraud, more than nine lakh depositors have been affected.

The Mumbai Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW), in response to the pre-arrest bail plea of PMC director Parmeet Sodhi, said that she has served in multiple committees of the bank and hence, cannot claim that she had no knowledge of what has been going on.

“It is pertinent to note know that the applicant (Sodhi) is a director of the PMC Bank since 2005 and has served as a member of the loan committee from 2005 to 2015 and thereafter also a member of recovery committee from 2015-19. The board of directors is a policy-making team, which is superior to management team and all other major decisions are approved or ratified by the board. Therefore, it is their collective responsibility... Applicant is running away from her responsibility,” it added.

The EOW further said that loan accounts of HDIL Group companies, which comprised more than 75 per cent of the loans dispersed by PMC Bank, were “sheltered” by the bank authorities.

“This fraud involves various criminal acts of accused persons and has manifold effects right from causing financial loss to banks to tampering of bonafides of the banking system. Therefore, facts are well within the ambit of law and do not exaggerate in any manner or it is not the case that facts are exaggerated to cope with public rage,” the EOW said on the accused’s submission that the probe is politically motivated.

“Public outrage is there since a large number of depositors are victims of this fraud. Huge public outcry and disturbance among depositors is there, six persons have lost their lives due to loss of their money, the public is on the road holding agitation against the same. It is a white-collar offence involving huge amount of public money... and anger of approximately more than 9 lakh depositors resulted in chaos in society and many times, the situation of law and order has arisen,” it added.

Apart from Sodhi, another director, Surjit Singh Narang, has also sought pre-arrest bail apprehending arrest. So far, five persons have been arrested in the case, including HDIL Group promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan.