DCHL cheated bank, says CBI

February 20, 2015 12:00 am | Updated April 03, 2016 02:20 am IST - HYDERABAD:

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) justified its request for two-week custody of Deccan Chronicle holdings Limited Chairman T. Venkatram Reddy saying that he had not cooperated with the investigators earlier and that it had voluminous documents which they hope to confront Mr. Reddy and his brother in the case filed by Canara Bank against them.

Venkatram Reddy did not cooperate with investigation though he was issued 10 notices to appear. He turned up only twice but he did not even open his mouth on one occasion, the CBI public prosecutor M.R.P. Babu told the court of the metropolitan magistrate which heard the plea of the investigating agency for custodial interrogation of Venkatram Reddy and his brother and vice-chairman Vinayak Ravi Reddy at its Banking Securities and Fraud Cell in Bengaluru. The magistrate reserved the order on the arguments for Saturday.

Mr. Babu said the DCHL produced ‘false’ and ‘fabricated’ documents to cheat Canara Bank by taking the loan but the defence counsel denied anything of the sort on the part of the company and said the case against the brothers was merely for alleged default in repayment of loan. He also said they were signatories to all the documents in the deal. Besides, the CBI also suspected the role of bank officials who processed and sanctioned the loan.

The CBI wanted to confront the brothers with voluminous records seized from Deccan Chronicle office and other premises in July 2013.

The defence counsel E. Uma Maheswara Rao argued that the CBI booked the case to mount pressure on the management to clear the loan. It was a private transaction whose remedy lay with the Debt Recovery Tribunal under the SARFAESI (Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest) Act. But, the bank dashed off a complaint to CBI eight months after moving the tribunal.

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He denied DCHL did not cooperate with investigation as 15 executives of the company visited BS & FC at Bengaluru 27 times to furnish information whenever requ-ired. The CBI sought police custody with a malafide intention and there was a strong apprehension that it will be misused. He feared the court will lack jurisdiction if something went wrong with the accused in Bengaluru.

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