Under relentless attack from a united Opposition over the Rs 11,400-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB) involving jeweller Nirav Modi, the government on Thursday asserted that no one, however high and mighty, will be spared if found to be complicit in it and investigations will be carried out at a brisk pace.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “I wish to make it very clear on behalf of the government that no one, who has sought to derail ordinary banking system, shall be spared, regardless of any individual’s stature and status.”
On Nirav Modi featuring in a group photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others recently at Davos, which became a focal point of the Opposition’s criticism, Prasad clarified the jeweller was not a part of the delegation and had gone to the World Economic Summit on his own. Prasad also rejected the Congress’ allegation that the PM had also held a private meeting with Nirav Modi.
The Congress has accused the government of doing nothing to stop “independent India’s biggest bank fraud” despite being informed of it. Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s tweet had suggested Nirav Modi slipped out of the country like Vijay Mallya, “while the govt looks the other way”.
The Congress also released a copy of a complaint by Bengaluru resident Hari Prasad, seeking early action against Nirav Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi. It said the complaint was acknowledged by the Prime Minister’s Office on July 26, 2016, well before it