Justifying the meaning of their names, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi, rained quietly, drowning the Indian banking system. The fraud which was claimed to be of ₹11,300 crores earlier has reached around ₹22,000 crore till now, and could be of even more. Non–performing assets (NPAs) which have been more than ₹7.5 lakh crore, pose a serious threat to the economy and questions the Indian banking system.
Many times we have seen elites from big brands run free after scams and corruption charges. After Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya, this time it was Nirav Modi – a diamond merchant who has been continuously taking money from various banks across the globe by issuing a fake letter of undertaking. Reportedly, the amount which crossed ₹11,300 crore, as reported by the Punjab National Bank.
It all started in 2011, and in 2015, Mehul Choski’s company’s employees resigned after finding out about improper accounting being done. They wrote a letter informing authorities about the whole matter. After not seeing any positive outcome from this, Hari Prasad, a former employee wrote a letter to the PMO as well which was immediately forwarded to the Registrar of Companies, but the case was closed down without any further proceedings.
This clearly raises a question on politicians and other government officers about knowing all the facts, but still trying to suppress them. One could also question the Indian banking system, since no records were asked for issuing the letter of undertaking. The Punjab National Bank reported the scenario to the CBI when a letter of undertaking worth ₹280 crore in Hong Kong was asked to be issued based on past records. However, on investigation, it was found that there were no past records found.
I would like to refer to a few cases where a farmer, Gyanchand, who took a loan to buy a tractor. But, on being unable to repay the loan, he was crushed to death by the tractor.
On one side Jaswant Singh and many other farmers have ended their own lives because they have been unable to repay their debts. On the other hand, people like Vijay Mallya flee to the UK, instead.
Nirav Modi left India in the first week of January with his family, much before the CBI received the complaint from the Punjab National Bankon January 29. It will be interesting to see if the government takes any serious action against the man. Or will he also walk free like Vijay Mallya and many others?