CBI raids NDTV’s Prannoy Roy, wife for bank fraud; channel calls it ‘witch-hunt’

A case was registered by the banking fraud division of the CBI against NDTV’s Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika. The ED and Income Tax department have been investigating the news channel since 2014.

The CBI reportedly raided four locations in Delhi and Dehradun in connection with a bank fraud case registered against Prannoy Roy and his wife among others. (ANI)

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday searched the office and homes of NDTV news channel promoters Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika in connection with a bank fraud, an agency official said.

While the premises of NDTV were not raided, the CBI officials searched the office of RRPR Holding Private Ltd, the promoter company of the English and Hindi news channels. Searches were on at four places in Delhi and Dehradun in Uttarakhand, sources said.

The CBI had last week registered a case into alleged irregularities in a 2008 loan that the holding company took from ICICI Bank.

The company took a loan of Rs 366 crore allegedly on personal guarantees of the promoters and settled for a repayment a year later that was Rs 50 crore less than the loaned amount, CBI sources said.

The case was registered by the agency’s banking fraud division.

“A case of bank fraud has been registered against RRPR and unknown bank officials. This is part of CBI’s recent crackdown on bank frauds and wilful defaulters,” a CBI source said.

The Enforcement Directorate and income tax (I-T) authorities were investigating NDTV since 2014.

Recently, the Delhi high court allowed I-T department to proceed against NDTV in a separate case for receiving funds from a foreign funding institution and settling the account 80 % less than the original amount.

The CBI and ED are also investigating RRPR for funds it received from foreign entities in connection with an investigation into Aircel-Maxis case and that of purchase of planes by Air India.

Text messages to Prannoy Roy remained unanswered.

NDTV, in a statement, called the raids “concerted harassment” based on “old endless false accusations”, adding it would fight against this “witch-hunt”.
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