The CBI has registered three separate cases against diamantaire Mehul Choksi and his related companies for allegedly duping Punjab National Bank (PNB) and a consortium of banks collectively to the tune of over Rs 6700 crore from 2010 to 2018.
According to the CBI, the complainant in all the three cases is Vijay Kumar Wadhwa, Deputy General Manager of PNB Zonal Office in Mumbai. The cases have been registered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating), 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code and section 13 (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
What are the three cases against Choksi
In the first case, a written complaint was received in March 2022 from PNB against M/s Gitanjali Gems Ltd (M/s GGL), its promoter Mr Choksi, the firm’s Director Dhanesh Seth, Joint President-Finance Kapil Khandelwal, CFO Chandrakant Karkare, and unknown public servants for allegedly causing wrongful loss of Rs5564.54 crore to a consortium of 28 banks led by ICICI Bank.
As per the FIR, Mr Choksi allegedly dominantly controlled and managed M/s GGL in active connivance with other accused persons. He was involved in fudging of accounts, siphoning of funds and utilising the sanctioned credit limits not for genuine trade transactions, as per the FIR.
Another complaint was given to the CBI by Mr Wadhwa in March against M/s Nakshatra Brands Ltd (M/s NBL), Mr Choksi (its guarantor), Mr Sheth (its director) and others for allegedly causing loss of Rs807.72 crore to a consortium of nine member banks led by PNB. The charges against them are of siphoning of funds and diversion of sanctioned credit limits.
The third complaint by Mr Wadhwa in March was against M/s Gili India Ltd (M/s GIL), Mr Choksi (its guarantor), and directors Aniyath Shivraman Nair and Mr Sheth, besides others for allegedly causing loss of Rs375.71 crores to consortium of three member banks led by PNB. The charges include fudging of accounts, siphoning of funds and utilising the sanctioned credit limits not for genuine trade transactions.
Choksi is also wanted in CBI and ED cases related to the PNB scam unearthed in January 2018, by when he had allegedly left India. Choksi was then accused of defrauding PNB to the tune of Rs6,097 crore.
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