FIR Accuses Prannoy Roy, ICICI Officials of Corruption, Conspiracy
Prannoy Roy. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/prannoyroyndtv?lang=en">@PrannoyRoyNDTV</a>)
Prannoy Roy. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@PrannoyRoyNDTV)

FIR Accuses Prannoy Roy, ICICI Officials of Corruption, Conspiracy

The CBI on Monday searched the residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy in Delhi and three other locations for evidence of having allegedly caused losses to ICICI, a private bank.

The agency has registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika, and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing losses of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank, CBI sources said.

As per the FIR, the CBI has registered a case against RRPR Holding Pvt Limited, Pranoy Roy, his wife Radhika, and unidentified officials of ICICI Bank of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption.

RRPR Holdings, which is an entity set up by the Roys in 2005, had allegedly taken a loan of Rs 500 crore from India Bulls Private Limited to purchase 20 percent shares of NDTV from the public. The CBI has alleged that RRPR Holdings took a loan of Rs 375 crore at the rate of 19 percent per annum from ICICI Bank to repay the borrowing from India Bulls.

The promoters of NDTV pledged their entire shareholding in NDTV as a collateral to ICICI for this loan, it alleged.

But this pledging of shares was not reported to the SEBI, stock exchanges and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, according to the CBI.

Such concealment was allegedly done as a creation of more than 61 percent voting capital, which was in violation of section 19 (2) of the Banking Regulation Act. It should not be more than 30 percent, the agency said.

In 2009, RRPR took another loan from VPCL of Rs 404 crores. With this money, RRPR repaid ICICI LOAN of Rs 375 crore at a lower interest of 9.5 percent.

The FIR said that a loss of Rs 48 crore was caused to ICICI bank and consequently gained by RRPR.

In an official statement, NDTV and its promoters vowed to fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies.

We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India. We have one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: we will fight for our country and overcome these forces.

The searches took place at two locations in Delhi and one each in Dehradun and Mussoorie. A CBI team was conducting raids in Dehradun, CBI SP Sujit Kumar said.