THE CBI is likely to soon file a second chargesheet against beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya in the Kingfisher Airlines loan default case. The chargesheet, with regard to Rs 6,000 crore loan defaulted on by Kingfisher, is likely to name a few bank officials too, sources said.
The loans were taken from a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI). Kingfisher began defaulting on them beginning 2009-10.
Sources in the CBI said some of these loans were granted despite Kingfisher’s credit worthiness being low at that time and some of the securities being overvalued. The CBI probe has found connivance of some senior bank officials leading to irregularities in disbursal of these loans.
The agency filed a chargesheet against Mallya last year in connection with a separate case related to a Rs 900 crore pending loan given by IDBI Bank in which senior officials of the bank were allegedly involved. The CBI had registered two cases against Mallya related to the IDBI loans in 2015 and consortium loan in 2016.
Both serving and retired senior officials of the banks, including the SBI, who had handled the Kingfisher Airlines loans may be named as accused in the chargesheet as the agency has gathered enough evidence against them on misuse of official position, sources said.
The top brass of erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines, including Mallya, its CFO A Raghunathan and other former senior executives, are also likely to be named as accused in the case, sources said. They said the agency is also looking into the role of Finance Ministry officials who could have influenced the decision of the bankers but their role is still being evaluated.
During the probe, the agency has gathered enough evidence to show that Mallya allegedly diverted the loan funds for purposes other than running the Kingfisher Airlines, they said.
The agency in its FIR has alleged that the SBI and its consortium banks had advanced various credit facilities to Kingfisher Airlines Limited during the period between 2005 and 2010, they said.
During 2009-10, the company failed to meet its repayment commitments to the bank from which it had availed the credit facilities and Kingfisher Airlines did not keep its account with the consortium banks regular which became NPA, the FIR states.
The consortium banks, therefore, recalled the credit facilities and also invoked corporate guarantee of UBHL and personal guarantee of Mallya, it alleged.
The SBI has an exposure of Rs 1,600 crore to the airline. Out of this, the bankers, which recalled the loan in February 2013, could recover only around Rs 1,100 crore after selling pledged shares of UB Group companies.
Other banks that have exposure to the airline include Punjab National Bank and IDBI Bank (Rs 800 crore each), Bank of India (Rs 650 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 550 crore) and Central Bank of India (Rs 410 crore).