The Supreme Court will hear a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam on Friday. The PIL filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda will be taken up by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
The PIL, seeking a Special Investigation Team for probe into the scam involving billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, was filed in the apex court on Monday.
While the scam has reached the top court, the Central Vigilance Commission has also taken cognisance of it, asking officials of PNB to explain how an otherwise fool-proof system put in place by the bank allowed lapses to occur. The CVC also summoned senior bank officials.
The CVC sought an explanation from the PNB officials on vigilance lapses which led to a loss of Rs 11,400 crore to the lender at the hands of Nirav Modi-and Mehul Choksi-linked firms.
The anti-corruption watchdog asked PNB and the Finance Ministry officials to submit a report on how the scam took place despite monetary regulations being in place. A deadline of 10 days has been set for the submission of the report.
The watchdog also sought the names of officials who were allegedly involved and sought identification of officials who could have taken action and prevented it.
The commission, which looks at preventing corruption at government-owned companies, banks and regulatory bodies, also issued a guideline to all PSU lenders.
“CVC has issued a guidance note to PSU lenders to transfer senior bank officers who have been at the same post for three years and clerical staff who have been at the same post for five years,” a report quoting a source closed to the ongoing probe into PNB scam said.
So far, the PNB has suspended 18 employees, including general manager-level officers in connection with their alleged role in the scam.
Two former PNB officers have so far been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) for causing a loss of Rs280 crore to the bank.