Bombay HC grants bail to 3 independent directors of PMC Bank
The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday granted bail to three former independent directors of the scam-hit of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank. HC said there was no evidence suggesting the involvement of the trio – arrested by Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing in 2019 – in the alleged fraud.
“There is no evidence to show that the applicants were a part of any conspiracy with the prime accused in causing loss to the bank. There is nothing on record to show that the applicants at any point of time had met accused Nos 1, 2 [realty group Housing Development Infrastructure Limited’s Rakeshkumar Wadhawan and his son Sarang] or there were any meetings with HDIL’s directors,” said HC while granting bail to Dr Trupti Bane, Mukti Bavisi and Rajneet Tara Singh Nandrajog.
“There is no evidence that the applicants received any kickback or gratification as board of directors of the bank or that they misused their position in sanctioning loan to themselves or to their relatives or any other person known to them,” the court added.
Dr Bane, who works at Bhabha Hospital, was represented by noted lawyer Niteen Pradhan. Bavisi, a non-practicing chartered accountant was represented by senior advocate Ashok Mundargi, while Nandrajog had appointed Wesley Menezes and Waqar Pathan as his counsels.
They had pointed that the statements of the witnesses do not establish prima facie case for commission of offence against their clients. All instructions to effectuate the fraudulent transactions were given by the chairperson and managing director to the managerial personnel of PMC Bank, they had argued.
The prosecution had opposed the bail pleas.
As per the prosecution case, the multi-state scheduled cooperative bank granted loans to HDIL without following the due process. The principle loan amount of ₹2,400 crore snowballed to ₹6,670 crore because HDIL allegedly failed to repay for the multiple loans taken between 2008 and 2019. PMC Bank’s senior management covered up these irregularities to avoid scrutiny by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), by masking the loan transactions from the Central bank auditors and manipulating the compute system to keep the transactions accessible only to a select few within the bank, the prosecution alleged.