The PMC Bank scam has claimed yet another victim; a senior citizen who needed the money for a bypass surgery could not arrange for the same owing to the limit on withdrawal of money from his account following the scam and consequently passed away. Murlidhar Dharra (60-years-old) from Mulund Colony, Mumbai, passed away on October 18 folllowing a heart attack. As per Dharra's son Rs 80 lakhs was in his father's account in the PMC bank branch in Mulund. His son Prem Dharra says that he had around Rs 60 lakh in his own account in the PMC Bank, but the money was inaccessible to both of them as withdrawals have been capped at Rs 40,000 per six month period.
This is the fourth case where a PMC account holder died. Earlier, one PMC scam victim had committed suicide and two others died following a cardiac arrest.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea filed on behalf of scam-hit PMC Bank account holders seeking lifting of restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on cash withdrawals. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, "We are not inclined to entertain this petition under article 32 (writ jurisdiction). The petitioner can approach the high court concerned for appropriate relief". The Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank has been put under restrictions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) following the discovery of a Rs 4,355-crore scam. Deposit withdrawals have been capped at Rs 40,000 over a six-month period, causing panic and distress among depositors.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday appealed the Narendra Modi government to see to it that 16 lakh customers of the scam-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank get some relief. Exception should be made to the restriction on withdrawals in the case of depositors who have pressing medical needs such as kidney transplant, he said at a press conference here. The issue of the scam at the bank -- pegged by the investigative agencies at Rs 4,355 crore -- would rock Parliament's winter session, Singh said. The Reserve Bank of India has capped deposit withdrawals at Rs 40,000 for account holders because of liquidity issues.
The bank's troubles are attributed to mammoth loan defaults by real estate group HDIL. "I do expect the Government of India, the RBI and the Government of Maharashtra to put their act together and provide a credible, pragmatic and effective solution to this case where 16 lakh depositors are crying for justice," Singh said.
(With PTI inputs)