Dr Shanta to PNB MD: ‘Don’t mix cancer with corruption’

PNB Bank Managing Director and CEO Sunil Mehta got chastised from unexpected quarters when Eminent cancer specialist and Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr V Shanta admonished him for using the word 'cancer' to describe the Rs 12,717 crore fraud at the bank by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his associates


  • While addressing a press conference in connection with the USD 2 billion scam earlier in the month, the Punjab Nation Bank chief had said: “This cancer, that’s been going on since 2011, we have brought it out and we are resolving it.”
  • In a letter to PNB managing director and CEO Sunil Mehta, Dr Shanta objected to the scam being equated with cancer. The legendary cancer specialist who was awarded Padma Bhushan and is currently Chairman of Chennai based Cancer Institute (WIA), said one ought to be ashamed of corruption but not of cancer.


She shared her outrage in the letter. Her letter read:

  • Corruption is a crime and something to be ashamed of; cancer is not.
  • We do not want the word ‘cancer’ to be associated with guilt, hopelessness or dread. And definitely not with shame.
  • So do not try to find parallels where none exist. Do not mix cancer with corruption ever.

Dr Shanta demanded to remove the reference to cancer from the statement and appealed everyone to stop misusing the word ‘cancer’. Doctors through the social media platform have lent their support to Dr Shanta.