HC stays arrest of Alchemist ARC promoter & another in loan fraud case – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/hc-stays-arrest-of-alchemist-arc-promoter-another-in-loan-fraud-case/articleshow/87519517.cmsSynopsis

It is alleged that properties of Jaisalmer-based Hotel Gaudavan Pvt. Ltd. (HGPL) worth about Rs 200 crore, seized by SBI for loan default, were sold by the bank to AARC for about Rs 25 crore. The then executives of SBI, it is alleged, had helped AARC acquire these properties.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed till November 9 the arrest of Alchemist ARC promoter Alok Dhir and another executive, Sasi Methadil, in a case related to an alleged loan scam.

Former SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri is a co-accused in the case. He was arrested on November 1 by Rajasthan Police from his residence in Delhi.

It is alleged that properties of Jaisalmer-based Hotel Gaudavan Pvt. Ltd. (HGPL) worth about Rs 200 crore, seized by SBI for loan default, were sold by the bank to AARC for about Rs 25 crore. The then executives of SBI, it is alleged, had helped AARC acquire these properties.

Dhir was granted transit bail till November 9, which permits him to apply for an anticipatory bail in a lower court in Rajasthan.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and advocates Vijay Aggarwal, Saket Sikri appeared on behalf of Dhir.

Seeking transit bail, Dhir’s lawyers argued that allegations against Dhir are misconceived as SBI had only transferred its debt under the provisions of SARFAESI Act relating to the borrower company (wherein the complainant was the director and also the personal guarantor) to Alchemist ARC and has not sold the properties of the borrower company.

Dhir submitted that a second first information report (FIR), registered at the behest of the complainant, was quashed by the Supreme Court in October 2017.

It was further contended that HGPL had taken financial assistance from SBI and failed to repay its interest dues.

It was also argued that the non-bailable warrants issued against them are bad in law. Dhir said he apprehends that he too may be arrested by Rajasthan Police.

Chaudhuri was arrested following an arrest warrant issued by the Jaisalmer‘s chief judicial magistrate. Similar arrest warrants stand issued against Dhir, RK Kapur, SV Venkatakrishnan, Methadil, Devendra Jain, Tarun and Vijay Kishore Saxena.

The Gaudavan group, it is alleged, had borrowed Rs 24 crore from SBI in 2008 for development of a lodging facility.

When the hotel failed to reimburse the credit, the bank, considering it as a non-performing asset, seized both the lodgings. Chaudhuri was an SBI executive then. The inns (hotels) were sold at Rs 25 crore to Alchemist ARC Company.

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