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CBI files second chargesheet; Mehul Choksi, his jewellery firms named accused

Thursday, May 17, 2018
By Bhavna Uchil

PNB fraud case

Of Rs. 7,080 crore fraud committed by Choksi, the agency has found evidence for only Rs. 512 crore

In a second chargesheet of around 12,000 pages filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) multicrore scam case in a special court yesterday, it has named Mehul Choksi, owner of Gitanjali group as an accused.

The first chargesheet had been filed by the investigation agency on Monday, in which it had named Nirav Modi as the prime accused along with 24 others. The second chargesheet has a record of 18 accused.

In this second chargesheet, 50 witnesses have been listed stating an alleged 12 fraudulent transactions have been made, worth around Rs. 512 crores.

This chargesheet has been filed for offences of criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy and under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Amongst the 18 accused in the chargesheet, are three firms of Choksi; Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Gili India Ltd and Nakshatra Brand Ltd. Mehul Choksi has been named as accused as Managing Director of Gitanjali Gems. Four employees of the firms; Director of Gili India, Aniyath Shivraman Nair, Chief Financial Officer, Gitanjali Gems and Nakshatra, Kapil Khandelwal and Vice-president for banking operations, Gitanjali Group, Vipul Chitalia are named.

Ten present and former employees of PNB have been named as accused, among them Usha Ananthasubramaniam. Till recently, she was MD-CEO of Allahabad Bank but her powers had been divested after being named as accused in the first chargesheet in the PNB fraud case. She was earlier at the helm in PNB. Three other top officials find their names again in the second chargesheet.

During investigation, the CBI conducted searches at 52 premises and examined a large number of witnesses and documents.

During the period from 2015 to 2017, officials of the PNB in criminal conspiracy with Choksi and others had made fraudulent transactions without making entries in the bank's system, the release said. It further said that the fraud was committed with the knowledge of senior officials of the PNB who did not implement circulars and caution notices issued by the RBI and instead misrepresented the situation to the apex bank.

The scam relates to fraudulent undertakings worth Rs. 11,600 crores issued by the PNB in its Brady House branch which made it potentially liable for the amount.

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