Gujarat bank ‘scam’ charge: Defamation suit against Congress leaders

Criminal defamation suits were filed before a local court on Monday against Congresss leaders Rahul Gandhi and Randeep Singh Surjewala by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) over their allegation that the bank was involved in a “scam” to convert “Rs 750 crore” within five days of demonetisation in 2016.

A plea filed by complainants — the ADCB and its chairman Ajay Patel — contended that the two leaders had levelled “false and defamatory allegations” against the bank.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate SK Gadhvi has ordered a court enquiry into the matter under section 202 of the CrPC (to enquire into the case to decide whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding).  The matter will be taken up on September 17.

Gandhi and Surjewala had reportedly alleged that the ADCB had received deposits of Rs 745.59 crore of demonetised currencies within five days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the note ban, wherein higher denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were scrapped, on November 8, 2016. The allegations were made by Gandhi and Surjewala, days after NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) had issued a response to an RTI query filed by a Mumbai-based activist.