The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked Jagdish Khattar, the former managing director of Maruti Suzuki India Limited, in a cheating case linked to a Rs 110 crore loan taken from the Punjab National Bank, Mint reported on Tuesday.
The CBI, in a case registered on December 20, alleged that Khattar, along with “unknown public servants”, cheated the bank of the amount, after he had failed to repay the loan. An unidentified CBI officer told the Hindustan Times that the agency searched Khattar’s home on Monday.
The FIR said that Carnation Auto India Private Limited, a company set up by Jagdish Khattar, took a loan of Rs 170 crore from Punjab National Bank in 2009. Subsequently, the bank restricted the loan to Rs 110 crore. The loan was declared a non-performing asset in 2015, with effect from 2012, the CBI’s report said.
“The accused borrowers dishonestly and fraudulently in order to cheat the bank sold the goods hypothecated to the bank without its permission, and diverted the funds thereby causing criminal breach of trust and cheating causing wrongful loss to the bank and corresponding gain to themselves,” the CBI’s first information report said.
Carnation Auto India Private Limited had been established as a car servicing and repair outlet of various brands, Mint reported. It also sold and purchased second-hand vehicles.
The CBI also alleged that a forensic audit by the Punjab National Bank found that Khattar had fraudulently sold fixed assets amounting to Rs 66.92 crore for a mere Rs 4.55 crore without informing the bank. These assets had been furnished to the bank as collateral for the loan. Khattar also did not deposit the proceeds of the sale into the bank, the CBI alleged.
The investigation agency has not yet issued a lookout circular for Khattar.
The Punjab National Bank gained infamy last year when it was alleged that diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who has fled India, had duped the bank of over Rs 13,000 crore. In June, the bank reported another fraud, of Rs 3,805 crore by Bhushan Power & Steel Limited, to the Reserve Bank of India.