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UK High Court dismisses PNB's $45 million fraud claim

London: The High Court of England and Wales on Thursday dismissed a USD 45-million deceit claim brought by the UK subsidiary of Punjab National BankNSE -0.65 % (PNB) against seven individuals and two companies, based in India and the US. London-based Punjab National Bank International Limited's (PNBIL) claim concerned eight loans it made between March 29, 2011, and December 1, 2014, for oil re-refining and wind energy generating projects in the US.

PNBIL had accused the individduals and companies in question of breach of contract, misrepresentation and deceit. In his judgment at the High Court's Chancery Division, Chief Master Marsh concluded that the bank had failed to make an "arguable case in deceit against the defendants". "[The] core components of a claim in deceit are absent; or if they are present, they are provided as such a high level of abstraction as to be totally inadequate," he notes. Referring to the case as having "an unfortunate history", the judge also pulls up PNBIL for a lack of "frankness" with the court.