Three top officials of Gitanjali Gems quit

The CBI has sealed the Brady House branch of Punjab National Bank in Mumbai.

By Our Bureau in Mumbai
  • Published 20.02.18
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PNB’s sealed Brady House branch in Mumbai. (PTI)

Mumbai: The CBI has sealed the Brady House branch of Punjab National Bank in Mumbai.

The Brady House branch has been the nerve centre for a skein of fraudulent transactions that have so far affected Rs 11,400 crore. Monday was a bank holiday in Maharashtra because of Shivaji Jayanti.

A notice put up at the Brady House branch of PNB warned of penal action against anyone breaking open the seal without permission from either the designated court or the CBI office in the city.

Gitanjali Gems - owned by Mehul Choksi, Nirav's maternal uncle and also embroiled in the country's biggest banking fraud - said three top officials of the company had resigned.

The jewellery firm said in a statement to the stock exchanges that two senior management officials - CFO Chandrakant Karkare and non-executive board member Krishnan Sangameswaran - had decided to step down.

Pankhuri Warange, the company's vice-president (compliance) and company secretary, had resigned with effect from February 13. Karkare has resigned from the post of the CFO effective from February 15.

'Conscience' letter

In a regulatory filing, Gitanjali Gems said Karkare had resigned citing personal reasons. However, Warange, in her resignation letter addressed to Mehul Choksi, warned that lack of disclosure could have an impact on the firm.

Her letter said: "Being a key managerial personnel and the designated compliance officer and company secretary of the company, I have certain statutory duties and responsibilities towards the stakeholders....

"The recent events (which have) unfolded in the organisation requires the company to make disclosures under the Companies Act 2013 and the Sebi (listing obligation and disclosure) requirements 2015. I have advised the management on the required disclosures to be made.

"The absence of disclosure will have ramifications not just on the company but also on the key managerial personnel. There is, however, no consensus in my opinion on the disclosures to be made and that of the management and, in these circumstances, my conscience doesn't permit me to continue with my position."

The Gitanjali Gems stock sank almost 10 per cent to close at Rs 33.80.

PTI reported that the income tax department on Monday attached seven properties of the Gitanjali Group and its promoter Choksi in Mumbai in connection with a tax evasion probe.

Sources said the action was taken to "recover outstanding tax demands".

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a probe by a court-monitored special investigation team into the banking scandal. The petition, filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, alleged a conspiracy at the "highest executive level".