CBI charge sheets Mallya, Kingfisher in loan default case

RSTV Bureau
File photo of liquor baron Vijay Mallya. (PTI)

File photo of liquor baron Vijay Mallya. (PTI)

The CBI Tuesday filed a charge sheet in connection with the IDBI loan default case involving the defunct Kingfisher Airlines in which its promoter Vijay Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender by a court, is a wanted accused.

The agency has named nine people whom it arrested yesterday in the case– former chairman of IDBI Yogesh Aggarwal, former CFO of the Kingfisher Airlines A Raghunathan, IDBI executives O V Bundellu, S K V Srinivasan, R S Sridhar, B K Batra, and Kingfisher executives Shailesh Borke, A C Shah and Amit Nadkarni–in the charge sheet, leaving out Mallya, as he is yet to be arrested.

A CBI source said the charge sheet mentioned that its special investigation team found there were many commissions and omissions on the part of IDBI officials in the process of sanctioning and disbursement of loan of Rs 1,300 crore to KFA.

According to the probe so far, about Rs 260 crore was diverted by KFA, while Rs 263 crore was used to pay salaries, tax deducted at source, income tax and loan instalments.

A part of the loan amount was also allegedly diverted by Mallya for his “personal expenses”.

The CBI source said all the IDBI officials who have been arrested were instrumental in sanctioning and facilitating disbursement of the loan. The entire team of officials from IDBI, from the proposer to the verifier, was arrested yesterday.

According to CBI, a Letters Rogatory (request for legal assistance) has been sent to authorities in British Virgin Islands and Singapore seeking details of use of money lying in Kingfisher’s accounts in these tax havens, and the agency is awaiting their reply.

IDBI allegedly showed “undue favour” to KFA in the matter of sanction and disbursement of short-term loans of Rs 150 crore in October 2009 and Rs 200 crore in November 2009, and another corporate loan of Rs 750 crore in November 2009.

Despite weak financials, negative net worth and low credit rating of the borrower company, and despite the fact that Kingfisher being a new client did not satisfy the norms stipulated in corporate loan policy of the bank, loans were sanctioned, CBI source said.

Kingfisher Airlines diverted Rs 263 crore from Rs 900 crore IDBI loan for “personal use”. , CBI today said in its charge sheet filed before a special court in Mumbai.

The agency has named former liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines and nine others, including the then IDBI Chairman Yogesh Aggarwal, who were arrested yesterday in connection with the 2015 loan default case, in the charge sheet.

It has slapped IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act on the accused.

CBI sources said the agency has kept its probe open in the issue of suspected quid pro quo by Mallya and executives of Kingfisher Airlines to expedite the loan process.

They said that in this probe, it has come to light that about Rs 263 crore from Rs 900 crore loan was diverted for “personal” use against norms and regulations.

Nine persons, including former executives of Kingfisher Airlines and IDBI officials, were arrested yesterday “as the agency fears they might have influenced the witnesses”, the sources said.

The CBI has not sought the custody of the nine and the arrest is only aimed at thwarting any attempt to compromise evidence and witnesses, they said.

Former CFO of Kingfisher Airlines A Raghunathan was among those arrested yesterday. They have been sent to judicial custody by the special court in Mumbai.

The charge sheet has now paved way for the CBI to approach authorities in the UK for deportation of Mallya who is believed to be in London, the sources said.

They said the agency has got a non-bailable warrant issued against Mallya and might also get a Red Corner Notice against him.

The CBI, in an FIR registered against Mallya, his defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank, had alleged that Rs 900 crore loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.

It had changed the nature of a lookout notice issued against Mallya within one month of issuance – from seeking his detention while leaving the country to that of merely providing information about his travel plans.

In the lookout circular issued on October 16, 2015, CBI had said if “Mallya tries to leave the country, he should be detained at the exit point”.

In a revised circular in November, the agency had asked the Bureau of Immigration to inform it about his departure and travel plans.

Mallya travelled abroad in October and returned in November. He made two trips in the first and the last week of December and another in January 2016, besides the recent trip reportedly to London on March 2.