Rs 14,000 crore PNB fraud case: Man accused of aiding Mehul Choksi refuses to take lie-detector tests
PNB fraud accused Gokulnath Shetty opposed CBI’s plea for his polygraph and narco-analysis test in order to find out about alleged pecuniary benefits received by him in return for fraudulent approvals.Updated: Aug 21, 2019 17:00 IST
One of the key accused in the Rs 14,000 crore PNB fraud case, former bank deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty refused to undergo lie detector tests claiming that CBI’s allegation that he had made pecuniary gains was nothing but an “assumption”. CBI had sought his consent for polygraph and narco-analysis tests on Wednesday to find out more about the alleged pecuniary benefits received by the accused.
Shetty is suspected of receiving illegal gratification for favouring diamantaire Mehul Choksi and his companies while posted in the forex department of the PNB’s mid corporate branch at Brady House, Mumbai, between April 2010 and May 2017.
According to the CBI, Shetty fraudulently issued 143 Letters of Undertaking (LOU) and enhanced the value of Foreign Letters of Credit (FLC) without following the prescribed procedure. The funds raised for payment of import bills were not utilised for the same in many cases, the CBI had claimed in its plea.
In his reply, Shetty said the prosecution was not seeking these tests for investigating Letters of Understanding (LOU) which, according to him, were the crux of the matter. He cited records to claim that the CBI had only probed about six LOUs so far and the probe in the remaining 136 LOU’s was still work in progress.
In such circumstances, Shetty claimed, no investigation in alleged pecuniary gain made by him, was required. He further alleged that the allegations of pecuniary gains to him were just assumptions.
Besides, Shetty also cited his health as one of the reasons to refuse consent. He said his 18- month-long jail had worsened his physical and mental health. He said he had always cooperated with the investigation in the past and therefore the court should reject CBI’s plea for conducting tests on him.
Gokulnath and his wife Ashalata Shetty, a clerk with Indian Bank have also been booked for allegedly acquiring disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 2.63 crore - approximately 238.44% more than their income from known sources between April 1, 2011 and May 31, 2017.