The names include PNB's former Chairman and Managing Director Usha Anathasubramanian and Executive Directors K Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Saran.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai bench on January 31 allowed the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to add 19 individuals as respondents to the Rs 13,000 crore-plus fraud at Punjab National Bank, taking the total count to 88.
The names include PNB's former Chairman and Managing Director Usha Anathasubramanian and Executive Directors K Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Saran. Other persons are officials of PNB, Gitanjali and Nirav Modi Group company. This is the first time when the government has initiated an action against lenders.
The NCLT bench has restrained the individuals from alienating their assets until further order. It has also restrained their moveable and immoveable properties.
The plea to add new names comes after the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) charge sheet showed the involvement of these individuals in the scam. In May 2018, the CBI had filed a charge sheet against 22 persons including Usha Ananthasubramanian, the former Managing Director of PNB and KV Brahmaji Rao Executive Director of PNB.
In 2018, the government had filed plea against 69 entities including Gitanjali, Nirav Modi group companies, PNB and their directors alleging corporate mismanagement under the Companies Act, 2013.
Earlier, the tribunal had given the government leeway to add more individuals given the increasing complexity of the scam as the case unfolds.
The PNB fraud case relates to the fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking/Foreign Letters of Credit by the Punjab National Bank in favour of Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi.
Manmohan Juneja, Regional Director (Western region), moved the application in NCLT Mumbai and Sanjay Shorey, Joint Director (Legal) argued on the matter.While Nirav Modi and Choksi have fled the country even before the scam was detected, government agencies are investigating the scam.