Subramanian Swamy moves Delhi HC alleging massive scam in Max Life's transactions with Axis Bank

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has filed an PIL before the Delhi High Court seeking a comprehensive probe into the alleged fraud in Axis Bank involving undue profits through the sale and purchase of shares, violating regulatory guidelines and causing financial harm.

The PIL was heard by the division bench of acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora.

Senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao represented Swamy, while Mukul Rohatgi appeared on behalf of Axis Bank.

Rohatgi said that he had not received an advance copy of the petition, prompting the court to adjourn the case to March 13 after Swamy’s counsel provided a copy to Rohatgi.

The PIL accuses Axis Bank of making “undue gains” through transactions in the shares of Max Life Insurance.

Swamy has sought the court’s directions to form a committee consisting of experts to investigate the ‘fraudulent’ acts of Max Life and MFSL in allowing their shareholder (Axis Bank Ltd.) and its group companies — Axis Securities Ltd. and Axis Capital Ltd — to make undue profits/gains from the purchase and sale of equity shares of Max Life in a non-transparent manner.

The PIL says that the profits were made by violating the directions of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

Swamy has called it an issue of national importance concerning the financial security of innumerable citizens of the country.

He claimed that Axis Bank gained unlawfully from purchasing Max Life shares below fair market value, resulting in approximately Rs 4,000 crore in profits.

Swamy has criticised the penalty imposed by IRDAI on Max Life as negligible compared to the total fraud alleged in the case.

“The rot prevalent in the private sector banks is required to be brought to light, in so far as the acts of the respondents — Axis Bank Ltd., Axis Securities Ltd., Axis Capital Ltd., MFSL and Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. — in handing over the management of bank(s) to non-banking professionals, which is further complicated as some executive board member(s) having no banking experience are attempting to acquire shareholding in Max Life by unfair and non-transparent ways, using their experience in the insurance sector to manipulate the records and valuations to serve their interests,” the PIL read.

“There is clear misrepresentation by the respondents before the IRDAI, as also non-compliance with its directions, so as to obtain prior approval for transfer of the shares,” the PIL added.

Besides praying for a probe by a committee of experts appointed by the court, Swamy has also sought the formulation of proper and comprehensive guidelines in accordance with the recommendations of such committee, to prevent future acts/transactions of such nature and to regulate the arrangements entered into by banks or other financial/insurance institutions.



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