Ahmedabad bank files defamation suits against Congress chief, Surjewala

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Ahmedabad, Aug 27: The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank on Monday filed two criminal defamation complaints against Congress President Rahul Gandhi and party Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a court here for their tweets regarding deposits made in the bank after demonetisation.

The complaints pertain to Surjewala’s press statement about alleged conversion of over Rs 745 crore in old currency in five days following demonetisation on November 8, 2016.

He had later backed it with Twitter messages on the same. Similarly, Gandhi had posted tweets on the matter.

The court of Additional Metropolitan Magistrate ordered an inquiry under Section 22 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and posted the matter for September 17.

Pointing out that BJP President Amit Shah is a bank director, the Congress leaders had alleged that it was involved in a “national scam” after demonetisation.

Gandhi and Surjewala’s tweets on June 22 had targeted both the BJP and Shah.

The cooprative bank and its Chairman Ajay Patel, through their counsel S.V. Raju, contested the allegations in the defamation suits and claimed that the allegations were false and defamatory.

IANS broke the story on June 22 about the bank netting the highest deposits among such cooperative banks of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were abruptly demonetised on November 8, 2016.

The information on the matter accessed under the Right to Information Act by a Mumbai-based RTI activist said that the ADCB had secured deposits of Rs 745.59 crore of the spiked notes in just five days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the demonetisation announcement.

On November 14, 2016, five days after demonetisation, all district cooperative banks were banned from accepting deposits of the banned currency from public amid fears that black money could be laundered through this route.