PNB fraud: Centre opposes PIL seeking SIT probe; SC fixes plea for hearing on March 16

The plea has asked for a SIT to probe the banking fraud, allegedly involving billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

PNB fraud: Centre opposes PIL seeking SIT probe; SC fixes plea for hearing on March 16

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday opposed PIL seeking special investigation team (SIT) probe into over Rs 11,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case in the Supreme Court. The apex court was hearing a plea seeking an SIT probe and billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi's deportation in fraud case.

Attorney General K K Venugopal aprised the court that investigation into the matter has started and FIR has been registered. The SC has said that it will not say anything on petition on PNB fraud case today and has fixed plea for hearing on March 16.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud had on Tuesday considered lawyer J P Dhanda's submission that the scam was of enormous magnitude and the plea be listed for urgent hearing.

The PIL, filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda, has made Punjab National Bank, Reserve Bank of India and the ministries of finance and law and justice parties. It has sought a direction for the initiation of deportation proceedings of Nirav Modi and others allegedly involved in the banking fraud, preferably within two months.

The plea has asked for a SIT to probe the banking fraud, allegedly involving billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

It has also asked for a probe into the role of the top management of the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The plea has sought a direction to the finance ministry to frame guidelines on the grant and disbursal of loans involving big amounts.

It has also sought the setting up of an experts body to deal with cases of bad banking debts in the country.
Besides, the petition wants framing of rules for the recovery of loans from the defaulters within a stipulated period, even by attaching their properties and auctioning them in the open market.

The CBI has already registered two FIRs -- one on January 31 and another a few days ago -- against billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his relative Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems and others for allegedly defrauding the PNB of about Rs 11,400 crore.

With PTI Inputs