New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) The CBI (NS:) has informed the Supreme Court that IDBI Bank has declared the former organizer/director Amtek Auto Ltd (NS:) as a “fraud” on September 26, and reported it to the RBI on October 4, and is in the process of filing a complaint against them, but the company has not been declared a fraud.
The CBI, in an affidavit, said it had approached 19 banks/financial institutions, of which IDBI Bank, Bank of Maharashtra (NS:), PNB (NS:), SBI and IFCI Ltd. (NS:) has responded to his query giving status of account declaration as fraud and regarding filing of complaint with CBI in case the account is declared as fraud. “Of the five banks mentioned above, only IDBI Bank has submitted that it has declared the promoters/directors of Amtek Auto Lt as fraudulent on October 4 with RBI however, it has not declared the company as fraudulent,” the agency said.
It added that it has asked the bank to come back with key facts in its complaint so that the CBI can register an FIR.
On September 5 this year, the Supreme Court issued a notice on pleas alleging clear inaction by central agencies – the CBI, ED and SFIO – against alleged criminal theft and money laundering of Rs 12,800 crore from over 27 public, government and listed banks by Amtek Auto Ltd, (AAL) and its promoters, directors, beneficiaries and key management personnel through a detailed system of over 127 related parties and several benaamidars.
The apex court is likely to consider the matter on November 3.
CBI, in response to the petition, said IDBI Bank, through its email reply on October 18, has informed that “IDBI Bank has declared the former promoter/director of Amtek Auto Ltd. as a ‘fraud’ on September 26, 2022 and reported the matter the same to RBI on 04 October 2022”.
“Further in response to a specific query whether a complaint has been filed with any law enforcement agency by IDBI Bank Ltd (NS:) or any other consortium member bank, IDBI replied as ‘In process’,” he added.
The CBI said: “Further, IDBI Bank. through its email dated 25 October 2022. submitted certain clarifications, as requested by the CBI stating that the bank is in the process of finalizing/filing a complaint against the former promoter/director of the company, Arvind Dham (Promoter/ Director of Amtek Auto Ltd), Deshpal Singh Malik (Executive Director of Amtek Auto Ltd.) and Gautam Malhotra (Non-Executive Director of Amtek Auto Ltd).”
It added that the company has been resolved under the IBC and Deccan Value Investors (DVI) has since implemented a resolution plan and taken over the management of Amtek Auto Ltd, hence the company has not been declared a fraud.
The CBI said that in view of the ongoing SFIO investigation in the case, IDBI Bank requested Union Bank of India-UBI (the lead bank) through various emails to convene a JLM (joint lenders meeting) to take a considered view in the matter.
“In the absence of any response from UBI, IDBI Bank proceeded to declare the former promoter/director of Amtek Auto as a fraud. After the declaration of fraud, a letter stating the declaration of the former promoter/director of Amtek Auto Ltd. as a fraud by IDBI Bank was sent by IDBI to Unity Bank of India (NS:) (UBI)-The major bank on October 18, 2022, advised Union Bank of India (NS:) to call JLM immediately in terms of the remaining guidelines. The answer has not yet been received from UBI. In the absence of any response from UBI, IDBI plans to file an individual complaint in the matter,” the CBI affidavit said.
IDBI Bank, through its email dated October 25, informed the CBI that it is not the lead bank and for the working capital (consortium), Union Bank of India (previously Corporation Bank (NS:)) is the main consortium member, and for term loans, the State Bank of India (NS:) is the main bank.
State Bank of India, through an email dated October 21, informed the CBI that the bank’s competent authority had declared the account a “no fraud” case and it had been declared NPA since August 25, 2015 by the RBI in its asset quality review.
Speaking to IANS, petitioner’s lawyer Jai Anant Dehadari said: “CBI’s reply shows in no uncertain terms that Amtek’s top management was indeed involved in a massive conspiracy to defraud banks. The fact that IDBI had informed RBI about their classification of Amtek directors as ‘fraud’ will now set in motion the machinery of criminal justice.”
He added that the investigating agencies will now have to explain to the Supreme Court the steps taken to unravel a larger conspiracy involving multiple layers of shell companies used to layer and hide criminal proceeds worth tens of thousands of crores of public funds.