CID petition enquiry into Harsha Sugars loan deal

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is conducting a petition enquiry into Rs 215 crore loan deal between a consortium of cooperative banks and Harsha Sugars, of which Congress leader Lakshmi R Hebbalkar is the managing director.

A senior police official said that the petition enquiry was referred to the CID from the Union government through a communication from the state government.

“There was a petition enquiry in this regard about two months ago. The enquiry is still going on,'' DGP (CID) H C Kishore Chandra told Deccan Herald.

A consortium of seven cooperative banks, with Apex Bank in the lead, had sanctioned a term loan of Rs 215 crore against a total security of 51 acres of industrial land worth not more than Rs 1.69 crore in Saundatti taluk in Belagavi district.

According to a source, CID officials have obtained the files related to the loan sanctioned to Harsha Sugars. The petition was filed in January 2016.

In the last week of this January, Income Tax officials had raided the premises belonging to Lakshmi Hebbalkar in connection with a large amount of unexplained cash deposited in the bank accounts of members of her family and her associates. In a press release, the Income Tax Department had said that non-existent persons were made shareholders and investors in one of the sugar companies and that there were cash deposits in ‘benami’ accounts in primary cooperative societies. The raids were also conducted on Small-scale Industries Minister Ramesh L Jarkiholi. I-T sources said that similar modus operandi was used for tax evasion.

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