SBI says it was not party to ARC case

NEW DELHI: SBI on Monday said that it was not a party to the case where Alchemist ARC director Pratip C Chaudhuri, a former chairman of the country’s largest lender, was arrested and the court may not have been “briefed correctly” on the sequence of events. The bank said that Chaudhuri had retired from SBI in September 2013, and all directors, who joined the ARC board a year later, have been named in the case. “It appears from the copies of the proceedings now accessed by us that the court does not appear to have been briefed correctly on the sequence of events. In as much as SBI was not a party to this case, there was no occasion for the views of SBI being heard as part of this proceedings. SBI would like to reiterate that all due processes were followed while making the said sale to ARC. The bank has already offered its cooperation to the law enforcement and judicial authorities and will provide further information, if any that may be called for from their side,” SBI said in a statement. Garh Rajwada, a hotel project in Jaisalmer, was financed by SBI in 2007 and it remained incomplete till its key promoter died in April 2010. Two months later, the account turned into a non-performing asset and the bank initiated several moves to recover the dues. In March 2014, the dues were assigned to an ARC. “This sale to ARC by the bank was done through a laid down process as per the policy of the bank. We further understand that the borrower was subjected to IBC process by the said ARC and the asset has been acquired by an NBFC in December 2017, again through due process under the orders of NCLT, Delhi,” the statement said. While the borrower had initially filed an FIR with the police against the sale to the ARC, the entity subsequently filed a “protest petition” in the court of the chief judicial magistrate as it was “aggrieved against the negative closure report filed by police”.

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