Mumbai: Seeking further custody of Yes Bank founder and former CEO Rana Kapoor in a money laundering case involving the scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a court that loans worth more than Rs 30,000 crore were given by Yes Bank to several companies during Kapoor’s tenure and that of these Rs 20,000 crore have turned into bad loans.
In its remand application, the agency told the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that the sanctions granted for these loans had to be investigated from the point of view of “irregularity, diversion or quid pro quo,” and “if in the guise of these loans monies have been siphoned off and laundered”.
Referring to the Rs 3,700 crore investment by Yes Bank in debentures of DHFL, allegedly in return for Rs 600 crore kickback received by Kapoor through his family firm, the ED told the special court, “It is apprehended that Rana Kapoor similarly misused his official position in several other transactions and obtained illegal kickbacks either directly or indirectly through entities controlled by him or his group companies.”
Appearing for the agency, Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves told the court that 78 firms are owned by Kapoor’s family, and that the ED needed to investigate where the remaining Rs 10,000 crore had gone.
In his defence, Kapoor, through his advocate Sathish Maneshinde, argued that when he left Yes Bank, its market capital was Rs 93,000 crore, and that he was not responsible if the market capital has come down to Rs 5,000 crore under the bank’s new management.
“When I left, the NPA was less than one per cent. I cannot be held responsible if the present management is unable to perform,” he said.
“I am being made a scapegoat in the case. The ED was under pressure to find a scapegoat,” he argued, adding that a raid was conducted on his residence in the Iqbal Mirchi money laundering case to which he is not connected in any way.
The agency has claimed that during investigation in the Iqbal Mirchi case involving DHFL, when it raided the residence of Kapoor, they stumbled upon the present case.
Maneshinde told court that loans were sanctioned by DHFL to Kapoor’s family companies much prior to Yes Bank’s investment in DHFL’s debentures.
He said that two loans sanctioned in 2017 and 2018 have been repaid, while a May 2018 loan of Rs 600 crore (alleged to be the bribe) is yet to be settled.
“My daughters have paid Rs 113 crore interest on the loan (of Rs 600 crore). No bribe taker will take cheque. No fool will return the amount. It was a pure banking transaction,” he said.
He denied that the value of the securities given for the loans were inflated as claimed by the agency, and said that one of his daughter’s net worth is Rs 5,000 crore.
Referring to his daughters, he said that they can repay loans as they do not have any other liabilities and that till date they have not defaulted on a single instalment.
On Enforcement Department’s references to Kapoor and his family’s properties, Maneshinde argued that these were purchased at auctions and not underhand.
“I have been awarded almost every year. I have been Chairman of ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce of India) and received international and national awards. It is not because of me that the bank has gone down. Till I left, there was not a single allegation against me,” he told court.
Special judge under PMLA Prashant P Rajvaidya extended Kapoor’s custody with the agency by five days till March 16.