In this case, an FIR was registered on January 21, 2021 at Machrauli police station in Jhajjar on the complaint of the manager of PNB’s local branch against one of the staff members, Himanshu Aggarwal. As per the complaint, the accused had allegedly misappropriated an amount of around Rs 6 lakh by issuing duplicate FDs. However, later it was discovered that the misappropriation of funds ran into crores.
Thereafter, the matter reached before the HC in the wake of a petition filed by the PNB seeking directions to transfer the probe from the Haryana police to CBI’s banking security and fraud cell (BSFC). The HC was informed that keeping in view the policy issued by the RBI dated July 1, 2016, the frauds committed with the bank authorities wherein money involved is Rs 3 crores or more, are to be investigated by the CBI’s banking security and fraud cell.
In the present case, the HC was informed, the fraud committed with the petitioner-bank was more than Rs 7 crores and therefore the case is liable to be investigated by the CBI. The bank also contended that in a similar case, titled Punjab and Sind Bank versus State of Punjab and Others, decided on September 21, 2011, a coordinate bench of the HC held that where the fraud is committed with the bank authorities and the embezzlement is between Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crores, the investigation is to be carried out by the CBI. “These findings returned by the coordinate bench were based upon the circular of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Government of India dated March 30, 2005 and the guidelines dated July 1, 2008 issued by the RBI,” the HC was informed.
After going through the judgment and hearing the contentions, Justice Harsimran Singh Sethi observed that although the counsel for the respondents-state concedes that the prayer of the petitioner in the present case is squarely covered by the decision in Punjab and Sind Bank case, the proceedings in the PNB case by the Haryana police were initiated at the request of the petitioner-bank wherein, the embezzlement was reported only to the tune of Rs 6 lakh and this amount was later enhanced to more than Rs 7 crores.
“Once, the parties concede that the prayer of the petitioner is squarely covered by the decision in the Punjab and Sind Bank case, the present petition is also disposed of in the same terms,” observed the HC while sending the matter to CBI for the probe.