Unitech founder Ramesh, sons face CBI case for Rs 198 cr bank fraud

| | New Delhi
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Unitech founder Ramesh, sons face CBI case for Rs 198 cr bank fraud

Monday, 07 December 2020 | PNS | New Delhi

The CBI has registered a case against the founder of real estate firm Unitech Limited, Ramesh Chandra and his sons — Sanjay and Ajay Chandra — for allegedly defrauding the public sector lender Canara Bank of Rs 198 crore. Unitech Ltd has also been named as an accused entity in the case.

After registering the case on December 1 under Indian Penal Code Sections relating to criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and cheating besides provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, the CBI on Saturday conducted searches on the premises of the accused persons, sources said.

In a complaint filed on November 18 before the CBI, the bank had said Unitech —which had been a customer since 1971 and availed various credit facilities — had defaulted on multiple payments.

The complaint stated that a Supreme Court-ordered forensic audit of Unitech’s accounts revealed Rs 14,270 crore had been collected from 29,800 homebuyers.

However, Rs 5,036.05 crore of this amount had not been utilised for the construction of 74 residential projects.

The audit revealed that Unitech secured Rs 1,805.86 crore from six financial institutions (including Canara Bank) and, of this, Rs 763.0 crore had not been correctly utilised.

The bank also cited the forensic report to allege that between 2007 and 2010 three Unitech subsidiary companies had made investments of Rs 1,745.81 crore in 10 companies in Cyprus.

“Unitech has committed breach of trust and, without any authority to deal with mortgaged properties, has illegally and with malicious manner created third-party rights, thereby clearly diverting receivables for their personal gain,” the Bank said in its complaint.

Unitech’s account with Canara Bank was classified as a NPA (non-performing asset) in March 2017. In April, 2017, accused Sanjay and Ajay Chandra were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly cheating home buyers by not handing over flats even though the company had been paid for the same.

The complaint also mentioned that the credit account of Unitech was declared a fraud and it was also reported to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before reference to the CBI.

Last month the Delhi High Court refused to extend interim bail of one month granted to Ajay Chandra due to the illness of his wife who was suffering from COVID-19. The court noted that the Supreme Court had been seized of the matter and there was no ground to extend interim bail.

In July this year, the apex court gave Sanjay Chandra bail after it was told his parents were severely ill and had been hospitalised. The court was told Ramesh Chandra, 79, had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

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