NEW DELHI: After examining the complainant Sanjay Dutt for two days, the CBI is now preparing to summon NDTV promoters for questioning in connection with a case relating to bank loan fraud leading to a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank.
The agency sleuths have also scrutinised the seized documents and a questionnaire to be put up to the accused is being prepared. The CBI is awaiting a response from the ICICI Bank from which it had sought the list of officials who cleared a Rs 375 crore loan in 2008 at an interest rate of 19 per cent but accepted repayment at a reduced interest rate of 9.5 per cent causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank.
The CBI is also awaiting the documents relating to the communication between NDTV and ICICI Bank officials right from the application to the repayment of the loan 10 months later. Following a complaint from Dutt on April 28, the CBI conducted a discreet enquiry and registered a case under Section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct.
The complainant, Sanjay, who was a chartered accountant for NDTV between 2006 and 2008 has alleged that money was laundered through shell companies for the loan repayment.
Dutt who is a shareholder of both ICICI Bank and NDTV claimed in his complaint that he was aggrieved by the “misdeeds committed by the two promoters of NDTV, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, through RRPR Holdings, the third promoter of NDTV in collusion with ICICI Bank.”
In his complaint he states “Neither the bank nor the promoters of M/s NDTV Ltd made disclosures of creation of such collateral in favour of the bank. This disclosure/permission under various statutes is mandatory to SEBI, Stock Exchanges and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,”
The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at five offices and residences of NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy on Monday. The Indian Journalists Union had condemned the raids and said that the ruling party was misusing organs of the state to browbeat critics and enforce self-censorship on the media.