Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday in connection with the agency’s money laundering probe related to Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor. Sources said that Chandra arrived at the ED’s Mumbai office in the morning and was questioned till early evening before he was allowed to go.
“Just like Anil Ambani, he too could not remember most of the transactions we questioned him about. We will call him again,” an ED official said.
However, Essel Group in a statement said that Chandra provided his complete cooperation. “Essel Group wishes to confirm that Dr Subhash Chandra visited the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai today and answered all the queries of the officials, to the best of his abilities. He offered complete co-operation in the future as well. The Group also wishes to clarify that Dr Chandra did not leave the ED office before completing the entire set of interaction with the officials, neither did he cite any reason or excuse to leave early, “ it said.
The agency had first called him for questioning on Wednesday but Chandra skipped the summons saying that as a Rajya Sabha member he had committed to attend the sittings as Parliament was in session. On Thursday, The Indian Express had reported that Chandra attended the Rajya Sabha and sat through a discussion on Unani medicine.
Following this, the ED issued fresh summons to Chandra seeking his appearance on Saturday as the Rajya Sabha would not meet on a weekend.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal was questioned by the ED in connection with a separate money laundering case linked to alleged financial fraud with a Mumbai-based tours and travel company.
It was earlier stated by officials that Goyal was questioned in the Yes Bank case but later it was clarified that he joined investigation in another case. Goyal has been summoned by the agency in the Yes Bank case too but he is yet to depose.
The ED had summoned seven top businessmen — Gautam Thapar (Avantha Group), Peter Kerkar (Cox & Kings Group), Kapil Wadhawan (DHFL Group), Sameer Gehlot (Indiabulls Housing Finance), Subhash Chandra (Essel Group), Anil Ambani and Naresh Goyal — in connection with its probe into the affairs of Yes Bank where it has already arrested the bank’s promoter Rana Kapoor and questioned his wife and daughters.
On March 10, The Indian Express reported that Yes Bank’s exposure to 10 corporate houses amounted to around Rs 34,000 crore in loans. Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group has borrowings of around Rs 8,000 crore from Yes Bank, Wadhawan Group Rs 4,700 crore, IL&FS Group Rs 2,500 crore, Jet Airways Rs 1,100 crore, Kerkar Group (Cox & Kings) Rs 1,000 crore and Avantha Group Rs 500 crore.
With PTI inputs from Mumbai