Renowned doctor censures Punjab National Bank chief for comparing scam with cancer

New Delhi: PNB MD and CEO Sunil Mehta got chastised from unexpected quarters when a globally acclaimed doctor V Shanta censured him for using the word 'cancer' to describe the Rs 12,717 crore fraud at the bank by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his associates.

Corruption is something to be ashamed of, cancer is not, she said.

"... do not try to find parallels where none exist. Do not mix cancer with corruption. Ever.", said the Ramon Magsaysay Award winner and cancer specialist in a letter to Mehta.

Punjab National Bank. AFP.

Punjab National Bank. AFP.

While addressing a press conference in connection with the $2 billion scam earlier in the month, the Punjab Nation Bank chief had said: "This cancer, that's been going on since 2011, we have brought it out and we are resolving it."

Strongly objecting to the use of the word 'cancer', the legendary cancer specialist who was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2006 and is currently Chairman of Chennai based Cancer Institute (WIA), said one ought to be ashamed of corruption but not of cancer.

"I was extremely disturbed to read your reference to cancer in the context of the recent scam unearthed at your bank. Corruption is a crime and something to be ashamed of; cancer is not," Shanta said in her letter.

Observing that several cancer patients are cured and lead productive lives, she said, "we do not want the word cancer to be associated with guilt, hopelessness or dread. And definitely not with the shame."

She also appealed to the others not to use the word in cancer in such sense as it could outrage medical personal working in the field of cancer prevention and cure.

The spate of frauds in the banking sector running into thousands of crores or rupees have outraged common people, who often liken deep-rooted corruption to something pernicious as cancer.

The worried government yesterday asked all state-owned banks to scrutinise non performing assets (NPAs) exceeding Rs 50 crore for fraud and accordingly report the matter to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 16:43:28 IST

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