‘No Bail, Only Jail’, PMC Bank Customers Demand Stringent Action
Holding placards saying ‘No bail, only jail,’ PMC bank depositors protested outside the Killa Court.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
The account holders at the crisis-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC) took to the streets on Wednesday, 9 October, demanding the Reserve Bank of India to intervene and called for stringent action against the accused, even as a Mumbai court extended the police custody of the Directors of defunct Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).
Holding placards saying 'No bail, only jail' and 'PMC culprits Beware: No bail, lammbi jail,' PMC bank depositors protested outside the Killa Court in Mumbai.
Mumbai’s Esplanade court on Wednesday, extended till 14 October, the police custody of former chairman of PMC Waryam Singh and HDIL directors Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Wadhwan, arrested in connection with the alleged Rs 4,355 crore scam at the bank.
Wadhawan and his son Sarang were arrested last Thursday, while former chairman, Waryam Singh was held on Saturday.
‘We Had a Black Navratri’
61-year-old Kirit Shah said that his Rs 3.5-4 cr is with the bank and that he hasn’t eaten properly since three days owing to mounting tension. “I've booked a new flat and I need the money for it. I had no idea this would happen. I demand them to release the money soon so that I can pay the EMIs for the flat,” Shah said.
Shah said that he has been a PMC customer since 30 years as they had a good portfolio and service but the latest fiasco was unforeseen.
Another PMC customer said his family received a festive shock by the recent clampdown on withdrawals and slammed the RBI for overlooking the financial health of the bank.
“We had a black Navratri and Dussehra. We had never imagined this could happen in a bank. If a person can’t trust a bank, whom should he trust? What was the RBI doing when this was unfolding? What was the RBI auditing all these years? If the RBI had audited properly, the depositors’ money would have been safe,” the protester said.
‘HDIL Directors Are Celebrating With Our Hard-Earned Money’
55-year-old Nathalin D’Souza said her entire family has an account with the PMC bank and her elderly parents depend on the interest from the fixed deposit.
“What will my parents, who are above the age of 80, do now? I urge the RBI to come up with a solution, either a takeover or some assurance to the depositors who are on the streets at the moment that their money is safe,” D’Souza said.
54-year-old Vijay Mungale, who has been a chartered accountant since 25 years said the he deposited all his money at the PMC bank since he trusted it and it had been inspected by the RBI.
“My hard earned tax-payed money, TDS-deducted money up to Rs 1 cr of my entire family has been blocked. We have been given Rs 25,000 for 6 months. How can we survive with it?”, Mungale said.
Hitting out at the directors of HDIL, Mungale said they have “brought darkness into our lives and celebrated with our hard-earned money. The directors have misused our funds and bought properties. But what have we got instead? We are on the streets.”
Besides the trio, police have also arrested Joy Thomas, former managing director of the PMC Bank, in the case. He is presently in police custody till 17 October, PTI reported.
The EOW had earlier told the court that the PMC Bank replaced 44 loan accounts of HDIL and its group companies, whose outstanding balance was significantly higher, with 21,049 fictitious loan accounts.
It is alleged that the bank's board of directors and executives, including Joy Thomas, had "full knowledge" of this act.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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