BJP hits back at Congress, saying PNB scam happened during UPA government, accuses opposition party of spreading lies
Congress to seek a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Punjab National Bank fraud case after talks with Opposition parties, reports News18.
Enforcement Directorate conducted further searches at 21 locations across India in Nirav Modi case and seized diamonds, gold, precious stones, metals and jewellery worth Rs 25 crore, reports ANI. Total seizure now stands at Rs 5,674 crore, ED added.
Special CBI court sends all three PNB officials in police custody till 3 March, reports ANI. The three accused are Gokulnath Shetty, then deputy manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Manoj Kharat, SWO (single window operator) of PNB and Hemant Bhat, Authorised Signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms.
Three Punjab National Bank officials arrested by CBI on Saturday produced before Special CBI court, reports ANI.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says that he will file a defamation suit against defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her accusations against him in relation to the Punjab National Bank fraud case, reports Times Now. He added that he will address a press conference in Kolkata at 5.30 pm.
Countering Congress' charge that multi-crore bank fraud took place during the BJP government, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Rahul Gandhi was present at a promotional event of Gitanjali Jewels and the whole episode took place in the UPA regime.
Sitharaman also said the Congress was wrong in blaming the BJP, as it was them who let out a building to Nirav Modi's Firestar Diamond, which had Anita Singh — the wife of Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi — as one of the directors.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted raids at Nirav Modi's franchise Gitanjali Gems Store in Durgapur, West Bengal. The ED also seized diamond and jewellery worth Rs 3 crore in raids at Gitanjali and Nakshatra Jewellers in Jaipur.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has alleged that despite Centre's knowledge, banking scam kingpin Nirav Modi was successful in fleeing the country after duping PNB of Rs 11,515 crore, and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is answerable for the fraud.
Party leader Dilip Pandey told a media conference in New Delhi that no action was taken against the diamond trader even though the finance ministry and the prime minister knew about Punjab National Bank (PNB)'s complaint against him with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Pandey quoted media reports suggesting that Dinesh Dubey, a former Director of Allahabad Bank, had in September 2013 written mails to the deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the then Financial Services Secretary over unsanctioned loans being given to Mehul Choksi, uncle of Nirav Modi.
But later, Dubey was pressurised to resign, he said.
Representational image. AP
From the Congress era, "junior Modi (Nirav Modi)'s involvement in corruption was known", he said, referring to Prime Minister Modi as "senior Modi".
"Both the Congress and the BJP are blaming each other for the scam and fooling the nation," said Pandey.
"A 'Modi Desh Looto Yojna' is going in this country," he added.
Noting that Nirav Modi was part of a delegation travelling with PM Modi to Davos in January this year, despite the complaint against him and a letter received by the CBI, he said the prime minister and the finance ministry were aware about the scam, yet no action was taken.
"prime minister is the watchman of this country. He should answer the public on this."
AAP Rajya Sabha member ND Gupta said the bank management was also involved in the scam.
"He (Nirav) ran away with the whole family in January. How?," he said.