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Need to have criminal justice system to protect bonafide actions by bankers for recovery of money: Uday… –

The case is related to Rs 24-crore loan taken by Gaudavan Group from SBI for construction of a new hotel.

Veteran banker Uday Kotak on November 2 said the country really needs to have a criminal justice system which protects bonafide actions by bankers for recovery of their money.

Kotak further said there has to be a method by which that action has to be protected. Kotak was addressing the media on the recovery and resolution progress of IL&FS Group.

Kotak said this against the backdrop of the arrest of former SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhari. Chaudhari was arrested on Sunday by Jaisalmer police over an alleged loan scam involving Hotel Gaudavan Private Limited and Alchemist ARC.

The Gaudavan Group had taken a loan of Rs 24 crore from SBI in 2008 to construct a hotel. According to a TOI report, allegations against Chaudhari includes properties worth Rs 200 crore sold for Rs 25 crore after the bank seized them for defaulting on the loan.

According to a CNBC TV18 report, the bail application of Chaudhari was rejected by Magistrate Court in Jaisalmer.

SBI in a clarification said the project Garh Rajwada was financed by the bank in 2007 and the key promoter had passed away in April 2010. The account had slipped into NPA in April 2020.

The bank took various steps to recover dues and for the completion of the project. As part of recovery efforts, dues were assigned to Alchemist ARC for recovery in March 2014.

The bank said that this sale to ARC by the bank was done through a laid down process as per the policy of the bank. The borrower was subjected to the IBC process by the said ARC and the asset has been acquired by an NBFC in December 2017, again through the due process under the orders of NCLT, Delhi, the bank added.

As recovery efforts failed the approval for sale to ARC were taken in January 2014 and the assignment was completed in March 2014.

SBI said it was not made a party to the case and all the directors of the ARC including Chaudhuri, who joined their Board in October 2014, have been named in the said case. Incidentally, Chaudhuri retired from the bank’s service in September 2013, the bank said.

Ishan Shah