Punjab National Bank: A sessions court has decided not to change a city magistrate’s decision from 2016. The magistrate had sentenced a 62-year-old woman, who used to work as a loan manager at Punjab National Bank’s Sion branch, to five years in jail and a fine of Rs1 lakh for cheating the bank. The court explained in its ruling that people trust banks with their hard-earned money, and actions like these by bank officials erode that trust. The court considered the woman’s offense to be very serious. The Additional Sessions Judge, SP Naik-Nimbalkar, stated that this white-collar crime was a deliberate act to misuse public funds from the bank.
Why she was sentenced to jail?
The woman, Mahrukh Suraliwala, lived in Dadar and worked as a loan manager at the bank’s Sion branch starting from January 2011. Between March 2013 and October 2013, she misused a superior’s credentials on 22 occasions to increase her loan amount from Rs1.46 lakh to Rs1.67 crore. She then transferred the loan amount to her own account and used it for personal purposes. The Judge mentioned that this economic offense has serious consequences that impact both the economy and the society. The order emphasized that the public has been deceived out of crores of rupees.
The court declined to show leniency by modifying the magistrate’s decision and allowing Suraliwala to be released on good behavior. It stated that a mild punishment would not serve justice in this case. The court observed that the woman’s dishonest intentions and abuse of her position to gain money were alarming and need to be stopped. It agreed with the magistrate court’s consideration of these factors and concluded that there was no need to change the sentence imposed by the trial court.