DPIL has been accused of cheating a consortium of 11 banks of Rs 2,654 crore. The alleged transactions from the bank started in 2008 when the company availed loans despite the fact that it was named in the RBI’s defaulters’ list and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) caution list. Officials suggest this could not have been possible without the involvement of bank officials.
The CBI’s action is a culmination of sorts of the proceedings that started exactly a month back on March 6, when the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), based on a grievance letter, directed the Finance Ministry, CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to ascertain the facts on the case and take prompt action. Various government agencies – Department of Financial Services, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Ministry of Corporate Affairs, CBI and ED – got together to report the outcomes to the finance ministry.
The finance ministry in turn asked the banks to lodge an FIR, followed by which Bank of India filed a complain to the CBI. The government on March 20, wrote another letter asking to ensure that information is shared amongst the investigative agencies. A fortnight later, the CBI raided DPIL and booked its directors.
However, this is not the first occasion that Amit Bhatnagar has run into trouble. was arrested by the Vadodara central excise officials in March 2015 for evading excise duty to the tune of Rs 42 crore. Excise officials had said that Bhatnagar’s company showed on paper that it purchased goods to get excise benefits but the goods were never actually bought.
VadFest, a four-day cultural and musical extravaganza, organized in 2015 under chairmanship of Bhatnagar too was mired in row after the local MLAs got upset for being ignored.
Bhatnagar got into public life nearly a decade ago as director of Vadodara Marathon that is now the city’s biggest annual event. However, Bhatnagar had to quit VM management after major differences cropped up between him and chairperson Tejal Amin. He later launched Vadodara Navratri Festival.
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