A Punjab National Bank branch in Mumbai. (Source: PTI)

NCLT Allows Making 19 More People Party To PNB Fraud 

The National Company Law Tribunal has approved a request to make 19 more people party to the alleged Rs 14,000-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had sought to send notices to 19 people, including PNB's former Chief Executive Officer Usha Ananthasubramanian, saying that immediate action against them was necessary to support the investigation.

The NCLT bench, comprising VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy, also refrained these individuals from removal, transfer or disposal of funds, assets and properties until further orders from NCLT.

While the application was moved in the NCLT, Mumbai by MCA’s Regional Director (Western region) Manmohan Juneja, Joint Director (Legal) Sanjay Shorey argued the matter in the court.

All the 19 individuals have been named as accused in the first information reports filed by Punjab National Bank and the second chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The list also includes PNB's two former executive directors K Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan. Vipul Ambani of Firestar International is also named in the list.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, in connivance with certain bank officials, allegedly cheated PNB of about Rs 14,000 crore through issuance of fraudulent letters of undertaking.

A Mumbai branch of PNB had fraudulently issued LoUs to the group of companies belonging to Modi since March 2011. The total number of LoUs issued to the companies of Nirav Modi, his relatives and the Nirav Modi Group are 1,213, and to Mehul Choksi, his relatives and the Gitanjali Group are 377.

The list of nineteen respondents that were added as respondents No. 70 to 88 in the petition:

  1. Bechu Bansi Tiwari, Chief Manager (Scale - IV) Zonal Office, Punjab National Bank
  2. Yashwant Trimbak Joshi, Former Manager (Scale - II), PNB
  3. Prafful Prakash Sawant, Former Office (Scale-I), PNB
  4. Vipul Natvarlal Ambani, President (Investor Relations & Corporate Affairs), Firestar International Ltd.
  5. Arjun Eknath Patil, Senior Executive, Firestar International Ltd.
  6. Rajesh Krishan Jindal, Former Assistant General Manager, PNB
  7. Mohinder Kumar Sharma, Former Chief Manager and Internal Auditor, PNB
  8. Bishubrata Mishra, Former Internal Chief Auditor (retired), PNB
  9. Miten Anil Pandya, Finance Manager, Firestar International Ltd.
  10. Manish Kantilal Bosamiya, Former Assistant General Manager, Firestar International Ltd.
  11. Sanjay Kumar Bhavanji Rambhiya, Former Statutory Auditor, Gitanjali Gems Ltd.
  12. Subhash Shankar Parab, Deputy General Manager, Firestar International Ltd.
  13. Usha Ananthasubramanian, Former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, PNB
  14. KV Brahmaji Rao, Executive Director, PNB
  15. Sanjiv Sharan, Executive Director, PNB
  16. Nehal Ahad, General Manager, PNB
  17. Nitin Prem Shahi, Assistant Finance Executive, Gitanjali Gems Ltd.
  18. Kapil Mali Ram Khandelwal, Joint President (Finance), Gitanjali Gems Ltd.
  19. Vipul Chunilal Chitalia, Vice President, Gitanjali Gems Ltd., Gili India Ltd. and Nakshatra Brands Ltd.