CBI declines ex-RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty’s plea for travelling aboard

The CBI has declined a plea from former Reserve Bank deputy governor K C Chakrabarty for allowing him to travel aboard by withdrawing a Look out Circular (LoC) issued against him in connection with a Rs 41.30-crore bank fraud case involving a tours and travel firm, officials said here today. Chakrabarty, a London-based NRI, was stopped at the Mumbai airport by the immigration authorities in May this year, based on the LoC issued against him by the CBI. He has been in the country since then. LoC bars an individual from leaving the country. According to CBI officials, Chakrabarty, who was questioned by the agency in connection with the case in April, might not return if he was allowed to leave the country. In a letter to the CBI last month, Chakrabarty, who served as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) between 2009 and 2014, sought withdrawal of the LoC so that he could return to London. The agency issued the LoC against Chakrabarty in connection with an FIR registered against Delhi-based travel company – Airworth Travels and Tours Private Limited, its promoters and unnamed public servants. The name of the former RBI deputy governor does not figure in the FIR, but the CBI questioned him in April this year in connection with the case. The case has been registered for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and fabrication of documents against Gaurav Mehra and Sonila Mehra, both directors of Airworth Travels and Tours Private Limited, and unknown officials of Indian Overseas Bank. It is alleged that they hatched criminal conspiracy and siphoned off sanctioned credit limit and bank guarantee by submitting fabricated financial statements for availing these facilities and the duo allegedly submitted false account books, debit statements and induced Indian Overseas Banks officials to disburse the funds to the tune of Rs 41.30 crore during 2009-13, which became non-performing assets in 2014. The company, which availed this facility for existing business of air ticket booking, had sublet the business and diverted the funds for other businesses, causing the loss of Rs 41.30 crore to the bank, the CBI alleged. The CBI officials said that the agency was ascertaining the role of Chakrabarty in the case. They said he had been summoned to appear before the agency in December last year and he came only after four months in April this year. There is a possibility that he may not return whenever he is asked to appear again for questioning, they said. When contacted, Chakrabarty said that he was sorting out the issue with the probe agency and he would not like to comment on it.


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