Almost 36 hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids on the residence and office of NDTV's Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika in connection with a loss caused to ICICI Bank, the lender did not issue a statement. Both ICICI Bank and NDTV are listed entities.
A statement sent to the bank's PR agency did not result in a response.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the CBI said that the bank took a hit of Rs 48 crore as a result of reducing the interest rate on a Rs 375-crore loan extended to NDTV Executive Chairperson Prannoy Roy, his wife and director Radhika Roy and their company, RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd.
The loan was granted on October 14, 2008 and repaid on August 7, 2009.
The CBI had explained the basis for carrying out the raid on the news channel's promoters, which was described as an attack on the freedom of the press by some media outlets.
"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.
Here is the statement of the CBI issued on Tuesday:
"CBI has registered the case based on the complaint of a share holder of ICICI bank and NDTV after carrying out due diligence.
"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 Rs 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.
" NDTV in its statement questions the jurisdiction of CBI by stating that ICICI is a private bank. It is clarified that the Honourable Supreme Court in the case of Ramesh Gelli vs CBI of 2016, held that the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 are applicable to the officials of private banks."