New Delhi: The ongoing protest over the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam has on Friday claimed yet another life, taking the total death toll to 4 in one week time. Identified as Muralidhar Dhara, the account holder in PMC Bank passed away today due to heart attack in Mumbai. Reports suggest that he was under stress as he could not withdraw money from the bank.
First, a 51-year-old account holder in the beleaguered bank, died of a cardiac arrest while returning home after attending a protest rally against the PMC Bank scam in Mumbai. And soon after that another 59-year-old man died while sitting in a protest in Mumbai. In another incident related to PMC Bank scam, 39-year-old Dr Nivedita Bijlani committed suicide.
While hearing a plea, the Supreme Court, earlier in the day, refused to entertain the petition, seeking direction to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) against putting a restriction on withdrawal of money. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the petitioner to approach high court for seeking relief on his plea.
“We are not inclined to entertain this petition under Article 32 (writ jurisdiction). Petitioner can approach the high court concerned for appropriate relief”, the apex court said.
The top court was hearing the petition filed by Delhi-based Bejon Kumar Misra, who has sought quashing of the RBI notifications restricting the limit of withdrawal of deposited amount in PMC Bank.
On Thursday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a press conference urged the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Prime Minister and Finance Minister to look into the PMC Bank case and said these leaders should resolve the grievances of the 15 lakh people. “It’s very unfortunate what has happened in the case of this bank,” Manmohan Singh said in a meeting in Mumbai.
He was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “I expect the govt of India, RBI and the govt of Maharashtra to put their head together and provide a credible, pragmatic and effective solution to this case where 16 Lakh depositors are trying for justice.”
In another development, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police on October 16 arrested former director of PMC Bank Surinder Arora in connection with the case.
The development comes as panic gripped the account holders of the PMC Bank due to the uncertainties over their deposits, which have been stuck after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had last month put a restriction on the lender for six months owing to a massive understatement of NPAs. After the irregularities in the bank surface, the RBI restricted the activities of the bank for six months and asked it to not grant or renew any loans and advances.