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New Delhi

Centre Questions Maintainability of Petitions in PNB Scam Case

The Centre on Monday questioned the maintainability of the petitions in connection with multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.

Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted the Centre’s stand and also opposed the petitioner’s prayers for a court monitored probe in the scam, contending that five investigating agencies are already probing the case.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, fixed the matter for further hearing on April 23.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a lawyer seeking SIT probe into the scam.

In an earlier hearing, AG Venugopal told the apex court that people file PIL seeking court inquiry of the probe even before it is begun, and stated that simultaneous probe and its inquiry is not justified.

The PNB in February detected the multi-crore scam, wherein celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi had allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of Rs 114 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against Modi and others on the basis of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR.

Currently, the probe agencies are investigating the matter and have also seized many properties of Modi and Choksi.

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