Former Maruti Udyog Ltd Managing Director Jagdish Khattar has been booked by the CBI for allegedly cheating Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 110 crore by selling assets surrendered to the bank as security after the loan his company took was declared a non-performing asset (NPA).
The CBI registered the FIR on December 20 naming Khattar and his Delhi-based company Carnation Auto India Pvt Ltd on charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal misconduct. The FIR came on a complaint filed by the PNB On October 17 this year.
Khattar, a former IAS officer who joined Maruti in 1993 as Director (Marketing) and its Managing Director between 1999 and 2007, said, “unfortunately (company) became a bonafide business failure on account of many reasons, including cartelisation by auto majors by non-supply of genuine parts.”
“The company has not indulged in any wrongdoing. A search was conducted by CBI but nothing incriminating was found. We were cleared in the forensic audit on each count. I have no doubt we will be vindicated again once the investigation is completed.” he said.
According to the FIR, Carnation Auto India where Khattar is the Director and its sister concerns Khattar Auto India Pvt Ltd, Carnation Realty Pvt Ltd and Carnation Insurance Broking Company Pvt Ltd were sanctioned a term loan of Rs 170 crore on 23 May, 2009, which was later enhanced by Rs 10 crore. However, it was subsequently restricted to Rs 110 crore.
The CBI claimed that Khattar allegedly entered into a conspiracy with unknown bank officials and did not repay the loan. It was declared an NPA on 30 September, 2015 with effect from 30 June, 2012.
Further, the agency alleged that the accused "dishonestly and fraudulently" sold the goods hypothecated to the bank without its permission and diverted the funds, causing a criminal breach of trust and causing wrongful loss to the bank.
A forensic audit was conducted by the PNB by KG Somani and Company which reported that the accused had "fraudulently" sold the fixed assets worth Rs 66.92 crore for 4.55 crore without the approval of the bank even as these assets were furnished as security to the bank.
Also, the CBI claimed, after the sale, the accused did not deposit the sale proceeds with the bank while it was found that it had "dishonestly and fraudulently" extended loans and advances to its sister concerns/subsidiaries also".
"There by it has committed misappropriation of bank funds and has put them for own use. As per norms of the bank, the concerned bank officials are required to verify the stock every month and also to cross check the debtors/creditors, which appears to have not been done. As such the role of bank officials will be looked into during the course of investigation," the FIR said.
While the bank in its complaint has named five accused, including three companies that stood as guarantors, the CBI said its investigation showed that it has no direct role in committing the fraud. Their role will be ascertained during further investigations, it said.