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EOW files plea to auction attached HDIL properties worth over Rs 4,000 crore

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​​EOW, which is investigating the Rs 4,355 crore PMC Bank loan fraud, said it wants to recover the money for the bank at the earliest

In what may bring relief to Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank depositors, city police’s economic offences wing (EOW) filed an application before the court on Tuesday seeking permission to auction properties worth more than Rs 4,000 crore owned by HDIL and its directors Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan.

EOW, which is investigating the Rs 4,355 crore PMC Bank loan fraud, said it wants to recover the money for the bank at the earliest. HDIL and the Wadhawans are accused of fraudulently taking loans from the bank.

EOW and the enforcement directorate (ED) have provisionally attached and sealed properties of the Wadhawans.

Under the code of criminal procedure, police have the power to auction these properties and recover the money for the bank. The EOW will appoint a compentent authority (CA) in a deputy collector rank officer once its gets the court’s nod.

“The court will ask the ED to give an NOC for the auction,” said a source. The CA will get the seized movable and immovable properties valued, invite bidders and then hold an auction.

PMC Bank has over 136 branches in six states and 21 lakh account holders. Following registration of an FIR in the loan fraud case, three PMC Bank depositors have died due to heart attack and one committed suicide.

The Wadhawans have properties worth over Rs 4,000 crore securitised with the bank for loans, which it failed to repay, causing a loss of Rs 4,355 crore to it. The EOW had arrested the father-son duo, the bank’s former chairman Waryam Singh and former managing director Joy Thomas in the case.

Meanwhile, on police request, advocate Ajay Misar was appointed special public prosecutor to represent the state in the case. He had earlier represtened the state in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The court has asked the accused’s lawyers to file their reply in the case. “The two accused had told us that their properties, securitised with the bank, could be auctioned and the money deposited in the bank. Besides, their vehicles, yatch and aircraft, which were not securitised with the bank, have been attached too. Everything will be auctioned to recover the bank’s money,” said an officer.

“Wadhawans’ properties in Vasai, Virar, Nala Sopara, land plots and other projects will be put up for auction,” said the officer. The auction, a form of distressed sale, may take place soon after the police gets court go-ahead.

Meanwhile, the Esplanade Court on Tuesday extended the police custody of arrested bank director Surjit Singh Arora till October 24.

Source: TNN

(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text)

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