CBI filed case against IL&FS subsidiary for defrauding SBI, PNB, Canara Bank and others of Rs.6524 crore

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The crisis-stricken infrastructure finance firm IL&FS and its subsidiary, IL&FS Transportation Network, are facing a legal case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI has accused the subsidiary of defrauding 19 banks, including Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, and Yes Bank. The subsidiary, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018, is alleged to have cheated the banks of a total of ₹6,524 crore between 2016 and 2018.

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The CBI’s First Information Report (FIR) names IL&FS Transportation Network Limited (ITNL) and its directors Karunakaran Ramchand, Deepak Das Gupta, Mukund Gajanan Sapre, and former CFO Dilip Lalchand Bhatia for their involvement in a criminal conspiracy and cheating. The FIR also includes charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The accused are believed to have conspired to cheat 19 banks, with Canara Bank being the largest lender involved.

The loan account was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) in 2018 and was later categorized as “fraud” in 2021. Canara Bank, in its complaint to the CBI, stated that the accused misappropriated sanctioned credit facilities through cheating, fund diversion, circular transactions with related and sister concerns, and falsification of financial records.

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The CBI alleges that the accused caused a loss of ₹6,524 crore to the consortium of banks and wrongfully enriched themselves. As of March 31, 2023, IL&FS had paid off a total debt of ₹28,848 crore, according to the latest affidavit filed before the insolvency appellate tribunal NCLAT. The group managed to resolve debts by monetizing assets and settling payments with concessioning authorities and counterparties to relevant contracts. The total amount resolved through such measures is reported to be ₹17,894 crores, as stated in the status update report submitted to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) by the company.

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