HC grants bail to prime accused Waryam Singh in PMC bank scam | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC grants bail to prime accused Waryam Singh in PMC bank scam

Feb 04, 2024 06:24 AM IST

The Bombay High Court has granted bail to Waryam Singh Kartar Singh, a prime accused in the ₹6,670 crore fraud at PMC Bank. Singh had already spent over 4 years and 3 months behind bars and still charges were not framed against him. The court ordered his release upon furnishing a personal bond of ₹1 lakh and one or more local sureties. The EOW alleged that Singh, prior to becoming PMC Bank chairman, served on the HDIL board and extended loans to HDIL group companies without following proper procedure.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday granted bail to Waryam Singh Kartar Singh, a prime accused in the 6,670 crore fraud at Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank.

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“The applicant cannot be indefinitely incarcerated as and by way of a pretrial punishment,” said justice MS Karnik while granting bail to the 73-year-old former chairman of the multi-state cooperative bank.

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The single judge bench granted him bail primarily because Singh had already spent over 4 years and 3 months behind bars and still charges were not framed against the accused in the case therefore the trial was not likely to start in the near future.

The court ordered Singh’s release upon furnishing a personal bond of 1 lakh and one or more local sureties in the same amount. He is also directed not to leave Mumbai without prior permission from the trial court and to attend the trial regularly.

The Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police registered an offence on September 30, 2019, in connection with the alleged fraud at PMC Bank, which has 137 branches in six states.

According to the RBI, PMC Bank masked 44 problematic loan accounts involving advances of 7,457.49 crore, mainly to Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), by tampering with its core banking system, and these accounts were accessible only to limited staff members. The bank created 21,049 fictitious accounts to ensure its master data aligned with the loan disbursals.

In its charge sheet, the EOW alleged that Singh prior to becoming PMC Bank chairman in 2015, served on the HDIL board and was close to HDIL promoter Rakesh Wadhawan. Therefore he and the Bank’s managing director Joy Thomas and several others extended the loans to HDIL group companies without following proper procedure and without security, and put savings of around 12 lakh depositors of the bank in peril.

Singh was arrested on October 5, 2019 in the case. While granting him bail, Justice Karnik said that the allegations levelled against Singh were serious, but also took into consideration the fact that the 73-year-old was suffering from several ailments like Cervical Spondylosis, slipped disk, and heart-related issues.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Special Correspondent. I have spent over a decade covering courts in Mumbai, primarily the Bombay High Court, and including several important trials like trial of 120 accused in March 1993 Mumbai bombings, 26/11 case - trial of Ajmal Kasab.

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