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A special CBI court on Saturday rejected the bail application of Vadodara-based Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL) promoters Suresh Bhatnagar and his son Sumit Bhatnagar, who are lodged at Sabarmati Central Jail for allegedly defrauding a consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 2,654 crore. Sumit’s brother, Amit, who is also an accused in the case, has also filed for regular bail which will be heard on May 10.
Special judge N G Dave pronounced the order, refusing to grant any relief to the father-son duo. The court held that the case is a serious economic crime and the accused can’t be released on bail. The CBI has alleged that the DPIL “fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks (both and private public sector) since 2008, leaving behind an outstanding debit of Rs 2,654.40 crore as on 29.06.2016.”
The FIR states that the firm which manufactures cables and other electrical equipment got the term loan and credit facilities despite the fact that the “they were already appearing in the RBI’s defaulters’ list at the time of initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium”.
The accused defended that “the actual loan was Rs 1,400 crore and the amount of loan was properly utilised”.
It said that the interest on loan taken from the bank was paid regularly till February 2, 2016 for more than eight years but the banks “took unilateral decision to treat the account as NPA on 16/02/2016 w.e.f. 09/01/2015. This was despite the fact that on 16/02/2016, no amount was due as far as interest is concerned and because of this decision to treat the company as NPA, the financial position of the company deteriorated and bank created a NPA not the borrower.”