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CBI charges Congress leader Kamal Nath’s sister in Rs 300cr bank fraud case

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CBI charges Congress leader Kamal Nath’s sister in Rs 300cr bank fraud case
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against Nita Puri, sister of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, her son Ratul Puri, and several others for allegedly defrauding the Central Bank of India of over Rs 300 crore.

The chargesheet is related to a case that dates back to 2019 when the CBI registered a criminal case against Moser Baer India Ltd, a company in which Nita and her husband Deepak Puri served as managing directors, and her son Ratul Puri was an executive director.

The CBI's investigation stemmed from a complaint by the Central Bank of India, which alleged that Moser Baer defrauded the bank of around Rs 354 crore between 2009 and 2014.

According to the chargesheet, Moser Baer approached the bank in 2009 for credit facilities to manufacture optical storage media, including CDs, DVDs, and solid-state media. The bank sanctioned a medium-term loan of Rs 100 crore and a letter of comfort worth $10 million on October 5, 2009. This was followed by a short-term loan of Rs 100 crore in 2010 and a "One Shot Letter of Credit" of Rs 50 crore in 2012.

However, by November 2014, the bank had classified Moser Baer's account as a "Non-Performing Asset" due to non-payment of dues, with an outstanding loan amount of Rs 354 crore. The CBI chargesheet alleges that the sales proceeds generated from Moser Baer’s business were not deposited with the bank but were instead siphoned off, indicating a deliberate attempt to defraud the financial institution.

The company allegedly made around Rs 1,500 crore in investments in subsidiaries and related entities, many of which were written off, further substantiating the fraud allegations.

The chargesheet also claims that Nita and Ratul Puri submitted forged and fabricated documents to the bank, misrepresenting their financial resources to secure the credit facilities and loans. As a result, both have been charged with cheating, fraud, and forgery. Yogesh Bahadur Mathur, the former Chief Financial Officer of Moser Baer India Ltd, has also been named as an accused in the chargesheet, despite not being included in the original First Information Report (FIR) filed in 2019.

The CBI completed its investigation in 2022 and filed the chargesheet against the accused on February 9 of that year. However, the court returned the chargesheet in January 2023, citing it as incomplete due to a lack of sanction to prosecute four bank officials under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Additionally, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a related case against Ratul Puri under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Puri was arrested in August 2019 in connection with the money laundering case, but he was granted bail by a Delhi court in December 2019. At the time of his arrest, Kamal Nath had dismissed the action as politically motivated.

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TAGS:CBIKamal NathMoser Baer India Ltd
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