Centre ignored Raghuram Rajan’s list of defaulters, claims Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi government of not taking action against the list of defaulters mentioned by former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan in a report to the Prime Minister’s office.

Quoting an excerpt from Rajan’s report, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “The RBI set up a Fraud Monitoring Cell when I (Raghuram Rajan) was Governor to coordinate the early reporting of fraud cases to investigating agencies. I also sent – please note this – I also sent a list of high profile cases to the PMO urging that we co-ordinate action to bring at least one or two to book. I am not aware of progress on this front. Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in 2016 sent a list of runaway defaulters to the PMO, yet Prime Minister Modi took no action.”

“On May 7, 2015, a person named Vaibhav Kurdia informed the Prime Minister’s Office about the matter along with other agencies. On May 26, 2015, the Prime Minister even received the complaint. A similar complaint was lodged with the Mumbai Police Commissioner and in Gujarat. Even the High Court was moved and it was told that there was a fear that the two could flee the country after a scam,” he added.

In the backdrop of the complaints, Surjewala asked why the Prime Minister did not react to the matter, and said “Why did the PMO not act despite the complaint dated May 7, 2015, and acknowledgment dated May 26, 2015, nor direct the External Affairs Ministry, CBI, ED, SEBI, SFIO to take action against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, does it not put a question mark on the role of the PMO itself? Why did PMO wait till March 1, 2018, to get a report on the fraud by Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi? Does it not prove the complicity of PMO in the matter? We can’t give you more evidence of direct complicity of PMO in the great escape of the fugitive.”

Surjewala further alleged that a fourth person had also complained to the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the same, adding that all the agencies including the Prime Minister’s Office were aware of this matter.

“The Prime Minister ordered for action in the matter on March 1, after the two had fled the country on January 4, he is directly responsible for this,” Surjewala alleged.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of duping the PNB of nearly USD 2 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.