Mumbai: The CBI is probing yet another loan of Rs 5,280 crore extended by a consortium of 31 banks led by the ICICI Bank to companies of absconding billionaire jeweller Mehul Choksi, officials said on Wednesday.
In this particular loan, the ICICI Bank has an exposure of Rs 405 crore. During searches in the Gitanjali Group offices, investigative agencies had seized crucial documents, including an agreement between the group and the consortium of 31 banks. The documents mentions that this consortium had sanctioned a ‘working capital facility’ of Rs 5,280 crore to the group, which has not been repaid till now. The loan was cleared in October 2016, and the agreement was revised in October 2017. The document shows that the Mehul Choksi firm had ‘utilised’ the ‘working capital facility’, a report in India Today.com said.
As per the agreement, ICICI Bank was the “lead bank” in the consortium, which sanctioned the ‘capital facility’ to Gitanjali Group. The IDBI Trusteeship Services Limited was the “security trustee” to the agreement. The loan came under the lens comes after ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank MD Shikha Sharma were summoned by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on March 6 while investigating the loan given to the Gitanjali Group.
The ICICI bank is already embroiled in a controversy over alleged quid pro quo by CEO Chanda Kochhar to Videocon. This probe is different from the Punjab National Bank fraud already unearthed, the investigative agency said. They said whether a fresh FIR will be registered in the case or the ambit of an existing FIR will be expanded, will be decided before proceeding with action in the matter.
In this loan, the Punjab National Bank was also a lender with the highest exposure of Rs 587 crore (around Rs 900 crore along with the interest). The other banks in the consortium included the Corporation Bank, the Bank of Baroda, the Central Bank, the Dena Bank, the IDBI Bank and others.
PNB Rs 587 cr
ICICI Bank Rs 405 cr
Corporation Bank Rs 297 cr
Bank of Baroda Rs 265 cr
Central Bank Rs 206 cr
Syndicate Bank Rs 231 cr