June 6, Tuesday: Reacting to the NDTV’s allegations of a political attack on the freedom of the press, without even conducting a preliminary enquiry the Central Bureau of Investigation said the raid was conducted on basis of search warrants issued by a competent court.
The probe agency claimed that it has respected the freedom of the press and said we have filed the case based on complaint of a shareholder of ICICI Bank and NDTV.
Read here the full text of CBI statement.
Reports in sections of the media have raised certain issues and the statement issued by NDTV has levelled certain allegations against the CBI investigation in the case relating to the promoters of NDTV and others.
It is clarified that searches have been carried out at the premises of the promoters and their offices based on search warrants issued by the Competent Court. CBI has not conducted any search of registered office of NDTV, media studio, news room or premises connected with media operations. CBI fully respects the freedom of press and is committed to the free functioning of news operations.
CBI has registered the case based on the complaint of a shareholder of ICICI bank and NDTV after carrying out due diligence. Denigrating the allegations at this stage of investigation and wrongly accusing the agency of acting under pressure is uncalled for and an attempt to malign the image of the CBI. The investigation is being conducted as per the due process of law and under the jurisdiction of the Court of law. The result of investigation will be filed before the competent Court of law based on the evidence adduced during investigation.
It has been mentioned in the statement of NDTV that NDTV and its promoters have never defaulted on any loan. The allegations under investigation are not regarding the default in loan repayment; but relate to the wrongful gain of Rs 48 crore to the promoters — Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy, M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd and a corresponding wrongful loss to the ICICI bank arising from their collusion and criminal conspiracy.
It is alleged in the complaint that the promoters of NDTV —Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy and M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd, acting in criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of ICICI bank, violated section 19(2) of the Banking Regulation Act, the Master Circular DBOD No. Dir B90/13.07.05/98-99 dated 28.08.1998 of the Reserve Bank of India and in furtherance of the conspiracy, ICICI bank took the entire shareholding of the promoters in NDTV (nearly 61 %) as collateral and then accepted prepayment of the loan by reducing the interest rate from 19 % p.a to nearly 9.5 % p.a and as a consequence thereof, causing a wrongful loss of ₹48 crore to ICICI bank and a corresponding wrongful gain to the promoters of NDTV — Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy and M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd.