Even as the Indian banking system continues to feel the jitters of multiple loan defaults, the Central Bureau of Investigation has registered an FIR (First Information Report) against Rotomac pens promoter Vikram Kothari for a loan default of Rs 800 crore, CBI officials told PTI. According to the report, CBI conducted searches in Vikram Kothari residence and offices in Kanpur from early Monday morning. CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told the news agency that there were no arrests in connection with the case as yet. Earlier, Bank of Baroda had registered complaint with CBI against Vikram Kothari.
According to new reports, the Kanpur-based company’s owner had taken a loan of more than Rs 800 crore from five state-owned banks including Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Union Bank of India, which had reportedly compromised their lending standards in favour of the Rotomac promoter.
Earlier, Vikram Kothari had sought to debunk media speculations of him having left the country following the loan default. “I am a resident of Kanpur and I will stay in the city,” Vikram Kothari said in a video message. Following Nirav Modi’s reported exit from the country following the Punjab National Bank Rs 11,400 crore fiasco, media reports of Vikram Kothari having fled the country began to surface.
According to PTI reports, Vikram Kothari had taken a loan of Rs 485 crore from Union Bank of India and a loan of Rs 352 crore from Kolkata-based Allahabad Bank. News reports say that Vikram Kothari did not pay back either the interest or the loan, which was due one year later. Last year, Bank of Baroda (BoB), had declared Rotomac Global as a “wilful defaulter.” Rotomac Pens had also moved the Allahabad High Court seeking removal of its name from the wilful defaulter list.
PTI reports say that a division bench involving Chief Justice D B Bhosle and Justice Yashwant Verma had passed the order on a petition filed by the company Rotomac Global, which said that it has been wrongly declared a “wilful defaulter” by Bank of Baroda despite having “offered assets worth more than Rs 300 crore to the bank since the date of default”. Vikram Kotahari’s company Rotomac was declared a “wilful defaulter” in an order dated February 27, 2017 according to the procedure laid down by India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.