PNB Manager granted bail in 2018 Nirav Modi Scam Case

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On Tuesday, a Special Court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) granted bail to Gokulnath Shetty, a key figure in the 2018 Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. However, despite the bail, Shetty won’t be leaving prison due to pending cases involving fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.

Gokulnath Shetty previously served as the deputy manager of the Forex department at PNB. The PNB case under CBI investigation revolves around his role in permitting certain Letters of Undertakings (LOUs) to be executed and encashed by a company named Chandri Papers and Allied Products Private Limited, with directors Aditya Rasiwasia and Ishwardas Laxmichand Agarwal.

These LOUs were deliberately kept outside the Core Banking Solution System to avoid detection, allegedly resulting in a wrongful loss of Rs 9 crore to PNB and corresponding gains to the accused directors. This case emerged in 2018, uncovering the involvement of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

This marked Shetty’s second bail application, presented by his advocate Sandeep Karnik. Karnik referenced a 2022 court order that discharged Rasiwasia and Agarwal, confirming the repayment of the amount and negating allegations of criminal breach of trust.

Special Public Prosecutor Sandeep Kumar, representing the CBI, opposed the bail plea, citing missing documents in Shetty’s possession and his violation of PNB’s guidelines regarding Loans and Advances.

However, the special CBI Judge VP Desai dismissed the habitual offender allegation, emphasizing that Shetty couldn’t be termed a habitual offender as there was no record of previous convictions. The court also considered Shetty’s bail in two PMLA cases related to Modi and Choksi and noted changed circumstances, including the repayment of Rs 9 crore and additional interest of Rs 55 lakhs.

As a condition of bail, the court ordered Shetty’s release upon the execution of a PR bond worth Rs. 1 Lakh.

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