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PNB Chief Manager Commits Suicide - Suicide Note Blames Field General Manager and Circle Head for Suicide



Rajesh Goyal 

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I was shocked when  I read the news that Mr Ajay Sehgal, Chief Manager of PNB, Sector 20 Panchkula  (Chandigarh) has committed suicide.   The reports indicate that  51 year-old Chief Manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB) committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. He was apparently disturbed over constant harassment by his senior officials.   It has already set ripples among the officers community in PNB.   Some of the leaders have taken up the issue on social media, with top management also.   I was wondering whether this should be an issue to be raised on this forum.  Finally, I decided to share this with bankers across India as I feel the problem of harassment of junior officers  is at banking  industry level, and not merely confined to one bank – though the magnitude may be different in different banks.   It seems PNB is one among the forefront.


Although the final details of the suicide, reasons for the same and action taken by police and bank will be known only in days to come, yet the various news items, face book discussions have brought the following facts / comments in this case:-


The Hindustan Times, Chandigarh  correspondent has reported that Mr Ajay Sehgal, 51,  Chief Manager at Punjab National Bank, has committed suicide by jumping in front of a train on the Chandigarh-Ambala track near Vikas Nagar.   He has alleged humiliation at the hands of senior officials of PNB.    It is further reported that the incident took place around 4.30pm on Wednesday (2nd July, 2014)  and, on Thursday (3rd July, 2014), the post-mortem examination was conducted and cremation held.   Another disturbing sentence in the report is “Before the police found out at 6.10pm on Wednesday, several trains had passed over the body”.   I am giving below a clipping from the HT report to highlight the seriousness of the humiliation faced by our colleague:-


Mr Ajay Sehgal was posted as branch head at PNB, Sector 20, Panchkula,  The reports clearly indicate that Mr Sehgal named PNB Field General Manager (Mr JK Gupta)  and Circle Head (Mr. AK Gupta)  for his suicide.  Police appears to have booked both of them for abetment but not arrested.   The case has been registered as the police took cognizance of the suicide note and a complaint by Sehgal’s wife.   Mr Aman Singh, SHO of Government Railway Police, Chandigarh has said “We have begun investigation under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. Arrests may be made in a day or two,”



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HT report also lists the charges levied by Mrs Rama Sehgal, wife of Mr Ajay Sehgal.   She said “My husband is a victim of the corruption within the bank,”  She also demanded immediate arrest of the two officers who have been booked,  Mrs Rama Sehgal is  a teacher at a school in Sanawar (HP).  As per wife’s version  Ajay was in “extreme tension” for the past 2-3 weeks. “My husband confided in me how both JK Gupta and AK Gupta were pressing him to sanction loans to their favourite clients against rules, which he refused several times. So, he was being humiliated,”


Mr Kamlesh  Chaturvedi from PNB, who is known for his frank views on FaceBook has uploaded a page from the suicide note, and has written a note, which I would like to share with our readers (in Hindi ) as I was moved while reading the same:-

पंजाब नैशनल बैंक प्रबंधन का क्रूरतम चेहरा उजागर हो गया. महाप्रबंधक और मंडल प्रबंधक द्वारा अपमानित और प्रताड़ित किये जाने से दुःखी होकर चंडीगढ़ में मुख्य प्रबंधक श्री अजय सहगल ने ट्रेन के सामने कूद कर आत्म हत्या कर ली. प्राप्त सूचना के अनुसार श्री सहगल के पास से एक २० पेज का सुसाइड नोट पुलिस को मिला है जिसमें उन्होंने अपनी परफॉरमेंस का जिक्र करते हुए उनकी ईमानदारी और कर्त्तव्य निष्ठा की अनदेखी करते हुए महाप्रबंधक और मंडल प्रबंधक द्वारा सरे आम बुरी तरह अपमानित किये जाने को आत्म हत्या की वजह बताया है. यह भी पता चला है की चंडीगढ़ पुलिस ने फील्ड जनरल मैनेजर और सर्किल हेड के खिलाफ भारतीय दंड संहिता की धारा ३०४ और ३०६ के अंतर्गत प्राथमिकी दर्ज़ की है. 

यह कोई पहली घटना नहीं है, इस से पहले भी ऐसी घटनाएं घटी हैं जो यह सिद्ध करने के लिए पर्याप्त है कि पंजाब नैशनल बैंक में मानवता कराह रही है, दानवता का तांडव नृत्य चल रहा है, ट्रेड यूनियन में सक्रिय पापी सो रहे हैं और अमानवीय आचरण करने वाले चैन की बंसी बजा रहे हैं. 


पूरे देश के पंजाब नैशनल बैंक के अधिकारी और कर्मचारी चीफ मैनेजर के ट्रेन के आगे कूद कर आत्म हत्या कर लेने पर दुःखी हैं, उनमें रोष है. यह कैसी विडंबना है कि बैंक के व्ययसाय में बढोतरी के लिए अधिकारीयों और कर्मचारियों को पीएनबी परिवार कह कर सम्बोधित करने वाले दिल को झकझोर देने वाली दर्दनाक घटना पर खामोश हैं. बाहरी एजेंसी पुलिस ने तो प्राथमिकी दर्ज़ कर ली लेकिन बैंक के उच्च अधिकारीयों ने अभी तक क्या किया है? अगर स्वर्गीय अजय सहगल जी की पत्नी कह रही हैं कि १० करोड़ रुपये का लोन गलत तरीके से करने के लिए दबाव बनाया जा रहा था तो क्या यह पर्याप्त कारण नहीं है कि इन दोनों उच्च अधिकारीयों को अविलम्ब निलंबित करके जांच के आदेश दिए जाते? बैंक के अध्यक्ष एवं प्रबंध निदेशक हमारे बैंक परिवार के मुखिया हैं-उन्हें पूरे देश में परिवार के सदस्यों में हो रही प्रतिक्रिया के मद्देनज़र एक परिपत्र निकाल कर बताना चाहिए कि बैंक इन दोनों उच्च अधिकारीयों के खिलाफ क्या कार्यवाही कर रही है? भविष्य में इस तरह की घटना की पुनरावृत्ति न हो, उसके लिए क्या कदम उठाये जा रहे हैं?


It is all the more a matter of concern for me as this is the Bank where I served for over 30 years, and know a number of colleagues who have put almost the whole life for the bank without caring for their parents, spouse and children.  However, now they have to face such consequences.

I pray to God  to give enough strength to the family of our departed soul so that they can cope with the unnatural death.

There is a need for all the bankers to ponder upon for few moments and decide that in this mad race for achieving the targets / going up the ladder, we should never cross the Laxman Rekha  of hurting others.  Crossing such rekha to catch the golden deer can bring untold misery.


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