The CBI has registered an FIR against Visa Power and its then chairman, Vishambhar Saran, in connection with an alleged Rs 1,964 crore bank fraud, officials told Press Trust of India on Thursday.
The action by the agency was launched following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank, one of the members of a consortium of 14 lenders who approved term loans of Rs 1,964 crore. PNB was the consortium’s lead bank and provided a loan of Rs 394 crore.
The bank alleged that the company and the accused officials – Saran and directors Vikas Agarwal and Subrato Trivedi, both named as defendants in the FIR – approached the bank for loans to develop a thermal energy project based on of coal with a production capacity of 1,200 people. MW in Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, they said.
“It was found that the defendants, in connivance and as part of a criminal conspiracy with each other, caused unjustified gain and unjustified loss to the banks to the tune of Rs 1,964 crore, not including the interest due from the date of the NPA”, according to the FIR.
The project was executed in two phases of 600 MW each and was to be financed by the consortium of lenders.
The account was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) by the banks between 2015 and 2016 because the project failed to reach milestones such as the inability of the promoters to contribute their respective share, the expiration of the coal bonds , the expiration of the power purchase agreement and the delay. in environmental depollution, among others.
“It is clear that the defendants hatched a conspiracy against the public sector banks with the intention of deceiving them by embezzling and siphoning off money and committed various offenses under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code,” says the complaint of the PNB.
The PNB has already issued a surveillance circular against the defendants, they said.
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