CBI Probe May Widen to More Banks

Around two dozen banks un­der scan­ner for al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in loans to King­fisher Air­lines

The Economic Times - - Sports & Economy - Raghav.Ohri@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The Cen­tral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion’s probe into the loan de­fault by Vi­jay Mallya’s now grounded King­fisher Air­lines may ex­tend from IDBI Bank to about two dozen lenders over al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in grant of funds to the be­lea­guered com­pany.

IDBI Bank has not been sin­gled out for in­ves­ti­gat­ing the role of bank ex­ec­u­tives for pos­si­ble fail­ure to con­duct due dili­gence be­fore ap­prov­ing loans, a se­nior CBI of­fi­cial told ET. “Loans granted by other banks, nearly 23 of them in­clud­ing pri­vate banks, to KFA, will come un­der the radar,” the of­fi­cial said on con­di­tion of anonymity. A CBI court had last week is­sued a non-bail­able war­rant against Mallya in the ₹ 720 crore IDBI Bank loan de- fault case as the agency sought his ex­tra­di­tion from the UK. The de­funct air­line owes nearly ₹ 7,000 crore to var­i­ous lenders. “The IDBI case was in­ves­ti­gated into and a com­plaint was filed suo motu by CBI against the bank af­ter sev­eral ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties were dis­cov­ered,” the of­fi­cial said.

Ear­lier this week, the de­fence coun­sels for King­fisher Air­lines and IDBI of­fi­cials con­tended in a Mum­bai court that IDBI Bank had been “sin­gled out” by the in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency.

The coun­sels were ar­gu­ing to se­cure bail for the ac­cused ar­rested by the CBI. They re­ferred to the con­sor­tium of banks, led by the State Bank of In­dia (SBI), and loans given by var­i­ous banks to the air­line. The CBI had reg­is­tered a case against Mallya in Au­gust last year on SBI’s com­plaint for al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in re­pay­ment of ₹ 1,600 crore loan taken from the bank. The charge sheet filed by the CBI in the IDBI loan de­fault case said that “fi­nan­cials of the com­pany were weak even at the time of ap­praisal by SBI”.

“The charge of cheat­ing has to be es­tab­lished keep­ing in view the role played by the of­fi­cials,” a se­nior CBI of­fi­cial said. “We are al­ready prob­ing the com­plaint filed by the SBI against Mallya.”

King­fisher Air­lines had taken a loan of ₹ 6,900 crore from a con­sor­tium of 17 lenders in early 2010 af­ter a se­cond round of debt re­struc­tur­ing.

Vi­jay Mallya

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.