HYDERABAD: The CBI on Saturday arrested Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited chairman T Venkattram Reddy and his brother T Vinayak Ravi Reddy for allegedly defrauding Canara Bank to the tune of Rs 357 crore. DCHL publishes the newspaper, Deccan Chronicle, and runs several other businesses.
The investigation agency registered criminal cases against the three key promoters of the media group _ T Venkattram Reddy (chairman), T Vinayak Ravi Reddy (vice-chairman and managing director) and PK Iyer (vice-chairman) _ for defrauding Canara Bank.
“The accused took the loan from the Secunderabad branch but since the headoffice is located in Bengaluru and a complaint was lodged there, the Karnataka unit of CBI arrested them,” CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said.
After a team of CBI’s bank security and fraud unit, Karnataka had arrived here, Venkattram Reddy and Vinayak Ravi Reddy were summoned to the CBI office at Koti in the morning for questioning. In the evening, around 5.30 pm, 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 their custody after the CBI special court takes cognizance of its FIR. However, Iyer was not arrested.
On Monday and Tuesday, the CBI had raided the residences of Venkattram Reddy and other accused, and the newspaper’s office and seized records. According to the CBI, the sleuths found evidence that the DC promoters had deliberately hatched a conspiracy to cheat and cause a loss to Canara Bank to the tune of Rs 1,230 crore between 2008 and 2012. After verifying the documents, 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 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 Rs 357.77 crore (approx) as on 08.09.2012,” a CBI press release from Delhi said.
The accused had availed Open Cash Credit limit with periodical enhancements and multiple short-term corporate loans aggregating to Rs 1,230 crore (approx) from Canara Bank by allegedly submitting false statements and by suppressing the borrowings taken from other banks. The CBI registered a case in July 2013 after Canara Bank had lodged a complaint.