Anticipatory bail plea of Amit Bhatnagar,two others rejected in bank defraud case


A special CBI court here today rejected the anticipatory bail plea of the promoter and directors of Vadodara-based Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL), which is accused of cheating a consortium of 11 banks and 8 other financial companies to the tune of Rs 2,654 crore.

The designated court of judge N G Dave had after hearing reserved its order on the anticipatory bail pleas of Suresh Bhatnagar, the promoter of the firm and his two sons and directors of DPIL, Amit Bhatnagar and Sumit Bhatnagar.

The accused, against whom the ED filed a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and CBI had also filed a cae earlier last week, had sought anticipatory bail, claiming that there was no FIR against them and that the CBI, on its own, could not file one.

Their counsel had argued that the banks, from which they allegedly took loans and defaulted, had not filed a case either and the CBI was acting on the basis of oral information. The central agency on the other hand had opposed the bail plea. It termed the case a serious one.

The court today rejected the anticipatory bail plea.

In the meantime, the Income Tax department was today conducting raids on various premises of the trio today.

Earlier yesterday the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted multiple searches in the case The corporate office of the company in Gorwa area of the city, factories in Vadadala and Ranoli and residential premises of its executives in Nizampura and New Alkapuri which were raided by the ED and CBI prior to it were also reportedly being searched by the IT teams today.

The ED was probing if the alleged defaulted loans were laundered to create illegal assets and black money by the accused. The CBI had alleged that DPIL, through its management, had fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks (both public and private) since 2008, leaving behind an outstanding debit of Rs2,654.40 crore as on 29 June 2016. It was declared a non-performing asset in 2016-17.

The company and its directors managed to get the term loans and credit facilities, in spite of the fact that they were named in the Reserve Bank’s defaulters list and ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, the agency had alleged.

At the time of formation of consortium in 2008, Axis Bank was the lead bank for the term loan and Bank of India was the lead bank for cash credit limits. It is alleged that the firm, with active connivance of officials from various banks, managed to get enhanced credit facilities.

According to the CBI, the company had been allegedly submitting false stock statements to the lead bank by treating receivables more than 180 days (non-current asset) as less than 180 days (current asset) to get more drawing power in their cash credit accounts.