HYDERABAD:The CBI on Saturday arrested Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) chairman T Venkattram Reddy and his brotherT Vinayak Ravi Reddy, vice-chairman & MD, for allegedly defrauding Canara Bank to the tune of ‘357 crore. DCHL runs the newspaper-- Deccan Chronicle -- and several other businesses. The investigation agency registered criminal cases against the duo and also against P K Iyer (vice-chairman). However, Iyer was not arrested.
“The accused availed the loan from the Secunderabad branch of the bank but since the head office is located in Bengaluru and the complaint was lodged there, the Karnataka unit of the CBI carried out the arrest,” CBI spokesperson,Kanchan Prasad, said.
Earlier in the day, a team of the CBI’s Bank Security and Fraud unit in Karnataka arrived here and the Reddys were summoned to the agency’s office at Koti for questioning. Around 5.30 in the evening, they were arrested and taken to the Osmania General Hospital for a medical check-up before being produced before a local Magistrate. The CBI sleuths will produce the duo in the CBI court in Bengaluru after obtaining a prisoner transit (PT) warrant.
The CBI may seek the duo’s custody after the CBI special court takes cognisance of its FIR. On Monday and Tuesday, the CBI had raided the residences of the Reddys and the daily’s office in Secunderabad and seized several records. According to the CBI, the sleuths had found evidence,which showed that the DC promoters had hatched a conspiracy to dupe and cause a loss to Canara Bank to the tune of ‘1,230 crore between 2008-2012. “Since the bank happened to be a public sector bank, the money swindled by the media house was public money,” the CBI said. After seizing the documents and verifying them, the CBI registered cases against the three directors under Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using forged document as genuine one) of IPC.
It is learnt that the company had submitted false and fabricated balance sheets concealing its actual borrowings from Canara Bank’s corporate lending branch in Secunderabad, and from other banks; and had also alienated the security hypothecated/mortgaged to Canara Bank. The total loss allegedly caused to Canara Bank is to the extent of ‘357.77 crore (approx) as on 08.09.2012,” a CBI release from Delhi said.