Mumbai Absconding diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, has alleged that the failure of the banking system led to the crisis in his firm, Gitanjali Gems. In a plea filed through his lawyers Vijay Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal, Choksi claimed, “The flaws were on the part of the bank and the auditors and not the accused, but for the same all the blame was put on the applicant/accused, irrespective of the fact that due to the wrongful act of the above and in consequences of the said act.” The bank in question is Punjab National Bank (PNB), which has alleged Choksi and diamantaire Nirav Modi committed fraud amounting to Rs 13,500 crore. In his plea, Choksi claimed that the accounts of the banks are audited at various levels and by various agencies. “Not a single auditor had even at one occasion red-flagged the company in any audit report. There was not a single negative report against the company for any of their wrongful act,” Choksi claimed. The application further stated that Choksi had not defaulted on payments till February 9, 2018 and the default started only after the investigation into the alleged fraud led to seizures and freezing of bank accounts.In May, Choksi had alleged in a statement that Gitanjali Gems was “cynically destroyed by the PNB in a diabolical manoeuver to divert attention from its own wrongdoings.”The court has asked the prosecution to file a reply to Choksi’s plea.