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No funds for heart surgery, PMC depositor dies

October 19, 2019 01:09 IST

An 83-year-old depositor of the troubled Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank died on Friday, with his family claiming that it could not raise money for his heart surgery after restrictions were imposed on fund withdrawals.

This is a fourth incident of the death of a depositor of the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank after the Reserve Bank of India appointed administrator on the city-headquartered lender.

 

Two of the depositors had died of cardiac arrest, while another, a woman doctor, allegedly committed suicide.

Murlidhar Dharra, 83, died at his home in suburban Mulund on Friday, his son Prem Dharra told PTI.

The family had a total of Rs 80 lakh in deposits with the bank (which was placed under restrictions since September 24), he said.

Doctors had recommended heart surgery for his father, but they could not arrange the money as the deposits are stuck at the bank, Prem said.

It can be noted that under the RBI directions, exceptions can be made for medical emergencies. It was not known immediately whether the PMC Bank refused a request from the family under this provision.

After an alleged Rs 4,355 crore scam came to light at the bank, the RBI initially capped withdrawals at Rs 1,000 in view of liquidity crisis, and later hiked it to Rs 40,000 in three moves.

The depositors have been protesting over the last three weeks, seeking their money back.

On Tuesday, 51-year-old Sanjay Gulati, who had recently lost his job with Jet Airways when the airline was grounded, died of a heart attack hours after attending a depositors' protest.

It was followed by alleged suicide of Dr Nivedita Bijlani, and death of Mulund-resident Fatto Punjabi due to cardiac arrest.

The crisis at the bank is being attributed to loans given to realty player HDIL, which were allegedly hidden from regulators' scrutiny, turning non-performing assets.

Five persons including HDIL promoters have been arrested in the case.

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