A depositor of troubled Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, Fattomal Punjabi has died of a heart attack on Tuesday, making it two deaths of depositors with the bank within the span of a day.
Reportedly, Punjabi, who had an account with the PMC bank’s Mulund branch, was part of the recent protests against the bank. He had spoken about his financial troubles to his friends because of the curbs placed on withdrawals by the Reserve Bank of India.
Punjabi’s death comes just a day after another depositor named Sanjay Gulati had died of a heart attack in Mumbai after failing to withdraw his life savings of Rs 90 lakh from the bank. Sanjay Gulati was a former employee of the now-defunct Jet Airways. He held an account in the Oshiwara branch of PMC Bank.
The RBI has put PMC Bank under stringent directions since last month, wherein withdrawals for the depositors have been capped. The limits were later increased to Rs 40,000 by the RBI on Monday and the central bank said 77 per cent of the depositors were now able to fully withdraw their deposits after easing.
In another case, a 39-year-old doctor Nivedita Bijlani, a depositor with scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra (PMC) Bank has allegedly committed suicide at her residence in the Versova area of Mumbai, police said on Tuesday. However, the initial reports state that the suicide may not be related to the crisis at PMC Bank. “The cause of the suicide is yet to be ascertained. She had an account in PMC Bank but we don’t think it (death) was related to the crisis in the bank,” he said.
Reportedly, Nivedita Bijlani, a doctor staying with her father in Versova’s Model Town area, committed suicide after consuming a heavy dose of sleeping pills on Monday night. Bijlani had deposits of over Rs 1 crore with the bank. It is reported that Bijlani was suffering from depression for the past few years and had reportedly tried to commit suicide in March last year in the United States.
What is PMC crisis?
The Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank is one of the largest cooperative banks, which was put under scrutiny by the Reserve Bank for fraud and misreporting of bad loans. Later, the bank had admitted that one large account, HDIL was the main reason for the current crisis.
Following this, the Mumbai Police’s EOW had arrested HDIL directors Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan in connection with a fraud of over Rs 4,355 crores. According to the reports, PMC Bank officials gave loans to HDIL between the year 2008 and August 2019 despite the Wadhwans defaulting on previous loans. The Wadhawans along with other promoters including Waryam Singh have been sent to judicial custody till October 16.
NCP leader Praful Patel links to HDIL promoters:
On Tuesday, shocking details had emerged that had exposed links of former UPA Minister Praful Patel with HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, who are currently embroiled in the PMC Bank scam.
The new documents had shown NCP leader and former UPA era minister Praful Patel’s name in numerous passenger manifests of an airline owned by the Wadhawans. The documents revealed that former UPA minister Praful Patel had used private jets connected to PMC scam accused to travel to various destinations from Mumbai.