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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Sell attached HDIL assets to repay PMC fraud-hit: HC

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2019 00:12 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustantimes
         

The economic offences wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police should sell attached properties of real estate company Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) Group at the earliest and repay the depositors of fraud-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, the Bombay high court (HC) said on Wednesday.

A division bench of justices Ranjit More and MS Karnik was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Sarosh Damania, seeking directions for the expeditious disposal of HDIL Group assets and properties attached by the EOW and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and repaying the depositors of PMC Bank at the earliest.

His counsel, advocate Anoop Patil, said normal court proceedings will take years to refund the dues of depositors and therefore directions were required for the speedy disposal of attached assets and properties.

On Patil’s request, the bench directed HDIL promoters Sarang and Rakesh Wadhwan to submit in two weeks the list of attached HDIL assets and also to disclose if the properties were encumbered and if the firm held any properties overseas.

Responding to the PIL, HDIL’s advocate said movable and immovable properties that were attached were sufficient to repay the outstanding dues of PMC Bank, payable by the group. He also claimed that the group does not hold any properties overseas.

An offence has been registered by the EOW on September 30, 2019, in connection with the purported fraud at the multi-state, scheduled co-operative bank. It is alleged that certain people at the helm of affairs at the bank illegally provided loans of about ₹4,355 crore to HDIL or its group companies.

According to the RBI, PMC bank had masked problematic 44 loan accounts, involving advances to the tune of ₹7,457.49 crore, including HDIL loan accounts, by tampering with its core banking system, and the accounts were accessible only to limited staff members.

The bank had created 21,049 accounts in order to ensure its master data tallies with the loan disbursals of ₹7,457.49 crore, RBI has stated in an affidavit filed in response to other PMC Bank-related petitions before the high court.

PMC Bank is a multi-state urban cooperative bank having 137 branches in seven states and was considered as one of the top ten co-operative banks in India. According to the 2018-19 annual report, the bank has more than 17 lakh depositors and had a deposit base of ₹11,617 crore and advances totalling to ₹8,383.32 crore, as of March 31, 2019.