Last year, the arrest of ABG Group's chairman Rishi Agarwal shook the nation, as it exposed India's biggest loan fraud of more than Rs 22,000 crore. But years before being held, Agarwal and his wife were also embroiled in the IL&FS crash, by causing a Rs 2,000 crore loss to the finance firm. Now the couple who took 13 loans from IL&FS and allegedly pulled off a fraud, have been granted bail by a special court for prevention of money laundering.
In its chargesheet, the ED has claimed that Agarwal continued to get loans through collusion with the committee directors of IFIN, despite being under financial stress since 2012. The bail was granted on the grounds that the accused have joined the investigation, and a complaint equivalent to a chargesheet has also been filed by the agency. The ED opposed the bail plea citing the gravity of Agarwal's economic offence, which had an impact on the economy of the country.
The ED is also probing IL&FS for governance failures, and has also alleged that funds from the loans were used by ABG to prevent its accounts from turning into non-performing assets. It also cited that RBI had flagged the lack of security covers for the NBFC's exposure to ABG, as early as 2017.
Sanctioning loans for companies and projects which stood on shaky grounds, and defaulted on payments, led to the IL&FS crash in 2018. Further investigation revealed that the debt burden of almost Rs 1 lakh crore on IL&FS, accumulated because of a massive scam allegedly masterminded by its then chairman Ravi Parthasarathy.
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