An 83-year-old depositor of the scam-ridden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank died on Friday in Mumbai, PTI reported. Murlidhar Dharra’s family alleged that he died because they were unable to withdraw funds from the bank for a critical heart surgery.
Dharra had Rs 80 lakh deposited in the bank. However, his family could not withdraw the money as the Reserve Bank of India has imposed a limit of Rs 40,000 on withdrawals from the PMC bank, Dharra’s son Prem told PTI.
Dharra is the fourth person to die because of the crisis at PMC Bank. Three account holders of the bank had died within 24 hours in Mumbai on October 16. Two of the three deaths were due to heart attacks as relatives of the deceased said they were under “severe stress”, and another depositor allegedly committed suicide.
The Enforcement Directorate is looking into allegations that the bank did not report all non-performing assets, or bad loans, after providing funds to a number of companies. The scam is said to be worth Rs 4,355 crore.
Meanwhile, an elderly woman, who had joined a protest against PMC Bank outside the RBI office in Mumbai on Saturday, fell ill. She was helped into a police van by security personnel and other protesting depositors, ANI reported.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on October 15 said he would ask the Centre to resolve the PMC Bank crisis after the Assembly elections in the state, which are scheduled for October 21. The RBI had, last month, imposed curbs on the bank, saying that depositors would not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 1,000 from the bank for six months.
The central bank also said PMC Bank would not be allowed to grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability including borrowal of funds. The withdrawal limit was raised to Rs 25,000, and on October 14, it raised it to Rs 40,000.
A special court in Mumbai on October 18 sent realty company Housing Development Infrastructure Limited’s promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan to the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till October 22.
The two had been sent to police custody, along with PMC Bank’s former Chairperson Waryam Singh, till October 23 on Wednesday. While the Wadhawans were arrested on October 3, Singh was held two days later for his alleged involvement in laundering money. Joy Thomas, the former managing director of the cooperative bank, was sent to jail on October 17. He is accused of criminal breach of trust, forgery and falsification of records of the bank’s dealings with HDIL.
The Wadhawans allegedly created more than 21,000 fictitious accounts to hide loans from PMC Bank. They continued to default on the loans, which the bank allegedly did not mention in its annual report.
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