The CBI has booked Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and his wife Bindu and industrialist Gautam Thapar for obtaining Rs.307 crores bribe through the purchase of a bungalow in a plush Delhi area from a realty firm at half the market price and facilitating around Rs.1,900 crores bank loans to it in return, officials said Friday. The realty firm Avantha Realty is owned by Thapar. The investigators of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that the discounted transaction for the 1.2 acre-bungalow on Amrita Shergill Marg was a gratification to Kapoor through the company Bliss Abode Pvt. Ltd. in return for the non-realisation of over Rs.1,900 crores in loans from Yes Bank to Gautam Thapar-promoted Avantha Realty and group companies, they said.
Kapoor’s wife Bindu is one of the two directors of Bliss Abode Pvt Ltd. The accused persons are named in the CBI First Information Report (FIR) charging them with criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, officials said. The FIR details the role of Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited in these dubious money trails linking to Rana Kapoor. The agency carried out searches at the residence and office of Kapoor and his wife Bindu in Mumbai, and the company Bliss Abode, offices of Avantha Realty and Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited in Delhi and NCR, they said.
The CBI FIR said that Kapoor bought the bungalow at Rs.378 crores, paying through Bliss Abode, they said, adding the property was immediately mortgaged to Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited for a loan of Rs.685 crores — which was Rs.307 crores less than the market price. The transaction shows that Bliss Abode paid much less than the market value to Avantha Group for relaxation in other existing loans to the group companies and for advancing new and additional loans. According to FIR, the property was under mortgage with ICICI Bank, which was released in favour of Yes Bank through a loan of Rs.400 crores given to Avantha Realty, they said. It also said that Thapar’s firm also obtained a farce offer letter from Inter Globe (operators of Indigo Flights) on the plush Delhi locality. “It was a farce offer letter to manipulate the property price,” said CBI investigators.
The bank had sanctioned this loan in 2016 as lease rental, discounting for 10 years against a farce lease rental agreement entered between Avantha Realty and its another group company BILT Graphics Paper Pvt Ltd, they said. The agreement between Avantha Realty and BILT was farcical as the rental value was increased from Rs.one crore annually to Rs.65 crores without any basis, said CBI officials. No rent was however received from BILT to Avantha Realty, they said.
In June 2017, Rana Kapoor persuaded Avantha Realty to sell this property to Bliss Abode Pvt Ltd against the favour extended to other previous advances of Avantha group of companies and extending another Rs.1165 crores-worth loans to the group companies even when existing loans were under stress, they said.
[with inputs from PTI]
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