A SPECIAL CBI court has allowed an application by the probe agency seeking issuance of a Letter of Request (LoR) to a competent judicial authority in the United States for conducting an investigation into a multi-crore bank fraud case against Vijay Mallya and the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The application by the CBI, allowed by special judge J C Jagdale on Monday, sought a LoR for a probe into utilisation of funds received in an account with First Commerce Bank, now called Pacific Premier Bank, between December 1, 2007, and March 31, 2009.
The LoR is also sought for a probe into collecting evidence pertaining to an amount of $20 million remitted by Airbus SAS in France in 2008 and another remittance from the State Bank of Mauritius in 2012 to the tune of $5,381 954.93, which the CBI claims “may have been meant” for Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines and/or their associates.
The CBI plea had also sought an LoR to Attorney General of USA to grant permission for use of evidence already provided in 2018 in the trial of two cases filed in 2015 and 2016, pertaining to loans given by the IDBI Bank and a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).
The CBI submitted before the court that Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines allegedly diverted sanctioned amounts given by banks as loans for purposes other than those avowed. It claimed there were “large-scale transfer of funds” from bank loans to accounts in the USA and other overseas locations and said these could be proceeds of crime.
The CBI claimed Rs 263.08 crore of the IDBI Bank loan given in 2009 was used for payment of TDS overdue, lease rentals of corporate jets being used personally by Mallya, payment of interest, salaries and other overdue bills. “…large amounts were remitted to overseas entities from various banks in the guise of lease rentals, payment of engineering, maintenance and import of spares, etc and there are reasons to believe that the underlying transactions for the same were not genuine,” the CBI said.
It was further claimed that the loan amounts were also diverted to related parties and entities like the Force India Formula 1 team, lease of aircraft and alleged diversion of Rs 15.90 crore to the Indian Premier League (IPL) team owned by Mallya.
An LoR is a formal communication sent in writing by a court to a foreign court or concerned judicial authority in cases where probe or judicial proceedings are pending.
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