Sarraf's last-day 'mission' to punish Jay Madhok

Vol 24, PW 3 (17 Dec 20) People & Policy

Like secret agents, three teams moved out from the PNGRB office on the orders of former chairman DK Sarraf on his last day in office on December 3 (2020).

Their mission: to encash Jay Madhok’s bank guarantees for three CGD areas where the Delhi-based retailer had failed to meet its work commitments. Sarraf closely monitored the operation to punish Jay Madhok and ensure the PNGRB's bank account was richer by Rs6cr ($811,000) at the end of the day.

Sharply suited in blazers and sun-glasses, the PNGRB despatched two officers in each team to three target banks. Each team had an explicit instruction: to encash in full (100%) Jay Madhok’s bank guarantee from Punjab National Bank for Kutch (East), worth Rs2cr ($268,000) and the bank guarantee from Canara Bank for Ludhiana, worth Rs3cr ($403,000).

The PNGRB also directed them to recover 50% of Jay Madhok’s Rs2cr ($268,000) bank guarantee for Jalandhar from ICICI bank, or Rs1cr ($134,000). All three teams reached their target banks by 10.30am on December 3.

Between 12.30 and 1pm the same day, Sarraf ordered the cancellation of Jay Madhok’s licences for Kutch (East) and Ludhiana, but not Jalandhar, which stays with Jay Madhok. "By evening we received the entire amount from all three banks," confirms a source.

"But it was a day-long struggle with the bank's officials." Because of the large amounts involved, they insisted on a lengthy verification process that included approvals from head offices.

"Every few minutes we kept reminding them to hurry up," says a source. To pile on the pressure, Sarraf asked the PNGRB team members to speak only in English.

"I have never spoken so much English in my life!" one team member tells us.