PMC Scam: A depositor receives defamation notice from Mini Punjab chain

Mumbai: Inderpreet Singh Bhatia, an account holder with Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank and an active campaigner to get PMC bank on its feet, received a notice from Mini Punjab Group for defaming their chain of restaurants. The letter claimed that Bhatia was involved in sending out derogatory audio files.

The notice that was send by S K Legal Associates LLP on behalf of ‘Mini Punjab Group’, has asked Bhatia to issue unconditional apology in writing in reputed newspapers within seven days from receipt of the notice, for pulling the restaurant into PMC controversy. Commenting on the notice send to Bhatia, he said, “This notice is a way to threat me. First, there were a group of people who made threatening calls and when that did not work they issued a notice. I will fight it out in the court.” On Monday (October 14), Bhatia is expected to approach the court. Bhatia is also a shareholder of PMC bank and has around Rs 1 crore in the crisis-hit PMC bank.

When Free Press Journal contacted Kuldeep Singh Arora, proprietor of the restaurant about this notice, he said, “I have not asked anyone to issue a notice. I am looking out for the culprit who tried to tarnish the image of Mini Punjab. Some people are jealous of us and they are using this opportunity to spread rumours against us.” He continued that the brand Mini Punjab, which is 60 years old, is unnecessarily dragged into this controversy.

Few days back, PMC bank depositors were protesting in front of Mini Punjab’s restaurant in Sion. “These protesters were mislead by someone stating that one of the directors of PMC bank, Surjit Singh owns the chain. This is not true. Mini Punjab Group is my father’s hard work and I would not let anyone hurt this.”

In social media, there were some messages that was circulated against Mini Punjab and its association with Surjit Singh. Kuldeep Singh Arora revealed, “Surjit Singh is not even my relative but still I have to face such a situation.” Arora went on to add that at present, the case is still being investigated, yet verdict is passed against Surjit. Arora also has six accounts in PMC bank—two in Bandra and four in Sion. “I am equally hit and after the wrong message that is circulated my business has seen a drop.” He maintained that he is looking for the people who protested outside his restaurant and even attacked his staff. “I want to send them a notice,” he stated.

In the notice send to Bhatia, the group has threatened to take legal action against him which included civil and criminal action for criminal defamation. According to Bhatia, this notice is an attempt to stop him from raising his voice against PMC directors.

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