Mumbai police's Economic Offences Wing filed FIR against Housing Development and Infrastructure (HDIL), and Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank officials, including suspended MD Joy Thomas in PMC bank fraud case on Tuesday.
EOW has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter. The first information report (FIR) has been filed under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant or banker), 420 (cheating), and 465, 466 and 471 (related to forgery) of the Indian Penal Code along with 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy).
FIR alleges possible fraud and wrongful loss of ₹4,355 crore and charges of cheating against HDIL. Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had imposed restrictions on withdrawal of deposits from the bank in light of the financial crisis plaguing the bank. A subsequent inquiry by the central bank revealed that over 70% of the bank’s total loans, running into several thousands of crore, were issued to the HDIL group.
"Joy Thomas and board members did not paint a true picture to RBI. PMC Bank board held back information on NPAs deliberately," the FIR stated.
EOW officers said the FIR followed a formal complaint from Jasbir Singh Matta, a PMC Bank branch manager, on Monday. “Mr. Matta was instructed by the RBI-appointed administrator to give a complaint. After he did so, we registered an FIR,” Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha said.
Despite non-payment, the bank officials did not declare HDIL exposure as non-performing asset and intentionally hid the information about the same from RBI by creating fake loan record of smaller loan account, an official statement from the police said.
Apart from Thomas, the bank's former chairman Waryam Singh and other senior officials, along with the director of HDIL, Wadhawan, have also been named in the FIR.
The FIR said HDIL promoters allegedly colluded with the bank management, to draw loans from the bank's Bhandup branch, PTI report indicated.
HDIL is in the bankruptcy court now after being hit by a severe cash crunch following the failure of some of its key projects in the city.
Earlier on Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) superseded the Board of crisis-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd and appointed Jai Bhagwan Bhoria as the administrator of the bank.
The withdrawal limit for account holders was initially kept at ₹1,000 per each customer for six months by RBI, which was later raised to ₹10,000. The regulator has also banned the cooperative from extending fresh loans or taking deposits.