Maruti Udyog ex-MD Jagdish Khattar booked in ₹110 crore bank fraud case

Jagdish Khattar, Maruti
The CBI carried out searches at the premises of Khattar and Carnation Auto on Monday evening | File Photo

Former managing director of Maruti Udyog, Jagdish Khattar, has been booked for alleged bank fraud worth ₹110 crore by his new company, Carnation Auto India Pvt Ltd. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named him and his company in their FIR for allegedly causing a loss of ₹110 crore to the Punjab National Bank, officials said.

Khattar has reportedly agreed to cooperate in the investigation and said nothing wrong was found during the audit. The agency carried out searches at the premises of 77-year old Khattar and Carnation Auto on Monday (December 23) evening, officials said. Khattar was with Maruti Udyog Limited from 1993 to 2007 when he retired as the managing director of the company.

After retirement, he had started his new company by availing a loan of ₹170 crore from the PNB in 2009. The loan was declared non-performing asset in 2015 with effect from 2012, the FIR said. The agency has registered an FIR under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and cheating on a complaint from Punjab National Bank, the officials said.

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“Carnation is a bona fide business failure. There is no wrong doing. Even an audit was conducted and nothing amiss was found. The bank has referred it to CBI as a part of the process followed by them. Search was conducted by CBI but nothing incriminating was found. We will be vindicated once the investigation is completed.” Khattar said.

The CBI has alleged Khattar and his company dishonestly and fraudulently sold the goods hypothecated to the bank without its permission and diverted the funds thereby causing criminal breach of trust and cheating that caused wrongful loss to the bank and gain to Khattar and his company.

The bank had conducted a forensic audit which showed that fixed assets to the tune of ₹66.92 crore were sold for a consideration amount of ₹4.55 crore without its approval, they said. It is also alleged that sale proceeds were not deposited with the bank and Khattar had dishonestly and fraudulently extended loans and advances to its sister concern/subsidiaries also.

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“Thereby, it has committed misappropriation of bank funds and has put them for own use,” the FIR said. The bank officials allegedly did not do mandatory monthly verification of stock and cross check the debtors/creditors, the FIR said, adding role of bank officials will be under scanner.

The bank had mentioned five accused persons in its complaint including three guarantor companies, Khattar Auto India Pvt Ltd, Carnation Realty Pvt Ltd and Carnation Insurance Broking Company Pvt Ltd, but their direct role did not surface during the verification exercise. “However, their role in detail will be ascertained during investigation,” the CBI said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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