Pilibhit: Vijay Mallya’s Pilibhit-based “guarantor”, farmer Manmohan Singh, has served a legal notice on the Mumbai regional office of Bank of Baroda (BoB) as well as its local branch for recently freezing two of his bank accounts. Charging them for defamation, Singh has claimed Rs 10 lakh in compen-sation within 30 days.
In December, the Mumbai regional office of the bank had “traced” Singh, a farmer from village Khajuria Naviram, and claimed he was one of the “guarantors” in the former liquor baron’s Rs 550 crore loan. After this, BoB had instructed the local Nand branch to freeze Singh’s saving account (number 01/4637) and restrict operations of his crop loan account (number 01/3881).
The bank had not relied upon Singh’s statements, which he kept producing before the bank’s officials, explaining how “he hadn’t even heard of Vijay Mallya and there was no way I could be on his board of directors.” Singh’s advocate Ram Pal Gangwar told TOI on Friday, “We have asked the bank to explain how they managed to establish my client as Mallya’s guarantor. We also asked them to disclose the findings that finally led them to relieve Singh of the charges.”
Gangwar said, “The act of the bank has not only caused stress, but also defamed my client. It has raised questions on his integrity. We want the bank to a pay Rs 10 lakh for def-amation, and Rs 24,000 as reparation of the loss he bore on the sale of his crop to non-government agencies due to the restriction on the operation of his bank accounts.”
“After we sell our yield to government agencies, the payment comes through cheque. Without a working account, I had to sell my sugar-cane and wheat yield to non-government agencies on far lower prices, and as such suf-fered a loss of Rs 1 lakh. That means a lot to a small-time farmer like me. I also have an ongoing crop loan and lost subsidy on the interest on my Kisan Credit Card,” he said.