Government must have free hand to probe Punjab National Bank: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the government must get a free hand to probe the over Rs 11,000 crore PNB scam.​

Published: 22nd February 2018 05:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2018 05:50 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the government must get a free hand to probe the over Rs 11,000 crore PNB scam involving jeweller Nirav Modi and added that it would step in only if the investigating agencies failed to do their job.

The Centre, represented by Attorney General K K Venugopal opposed a public interest litigation (PIL), seeking an independent probe and repatriation of Nirav, before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra saying that “the enquiry has already been started and the FIRs have been registered”.

Lawyer Vineet Dhanda, who has filed the PIL, said either a notice should be issued or a status report called from the Centre as the whole country was watching that the government had not done anything in the past in liquor baron and the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines’ boss Vijay Mallya’s case.

“Speeches have no impact on the court. We will hear the legal issue and not the emotional aspect. It has become a fashion to see something in the newspapers and come to the Supreme Court. This is not the way you argue a petition. The purpose is to gain publicity by filing these publicity-oriented litigations,” the bench said and fixed the PIL for hearing on March 16.

The PIL has asked for a SIT to probe the banking fraud and has sought a direction to the finance ministry to frame guidelines on the grant and disbursal of loans involving big amounts, besides ensuring safety and recovery of such loans.

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