CBI Files 3 New Cases against Mehul Choksi

Mumbai: India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed three FIRs on Friday against fugitive Mehul Choksi for cheating and causing a loss of ₹6,800 crore to a consortium of banks.

All the FIRs are filed by Mr. Vijay Wadhwa, Deputy General Manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB) on March 21, 2022. The first one states that Mehul Choksi, director of Gitanjali Gems Limited (GGL); Dhanesh Sheth, director of GGL; Kapil Khandewal, joint president (finance) of GGL and Chandrakant Karkare, chief financial officer of GGL and unknown public servants caused wrongful loss of ₹5,564.54 crore to consortium of 28 member banks led by the ICICI bank.

The names of some of the banks are PNB, Indian Bank (e-Allahabad Bank), Union Bank of India (e-Andhra Bank), Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Union Bank of India (e-Corporation Bank), Bank of Baroda (e-Dena Bank).

It is alleged that between April 1, 2010 and January 31, 2018, Gitanjali Gems and other accused were party to criminal conspiracy to cheat the consortium for sanctioned credit facilities. It is alleged that Gitanjali Gems was dominantly controlled and managed by Mr. Choksi, director of the company. All the accused are involved in fudging of accounts, siphoning of funds, and utilising the sanctioned credit limits not for genuine transactions. All the consortium member banks have classified the account of Gitanjali Gems as non-performing assets and reported it as a fraud to the Reserve Bank of India.

The second FIR mentions that Nakshtra Brands Limited (NBL) is a subsidiary of GGL and Mr. Choksi, guarantor of NBL; Mr. Sheth, director of NBL and other unknown public servants have caused wrongful loss of ₹807.72 crore to consortium of nine member banks led by the PNB.

The third FIR names Gill India Limited, Mr. Choksi who is also the guarantor of GILL, Aniyath Nair, director of GILL and Mr. Sheth, also the director of the same company have caused a wrongful loss of ₹375.71 crore to constorium of three banks.

All the FIRs were registered on December 14 and booked the accused under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code along with provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.