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Mumbai/New Delhi, March 18, 2020
Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra and former Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal on Wednesday skipped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons for questioning in connection with the money laundering probe involving arrested Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor.
A senior ED official related to the probe in Delhi told IANS: "Chandra did not appear before the ED for questioning citing ongoing Budget session in Parliament. He has asked for another date for questioning after the Budget session."
Chandra is a BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana.
On Monday, after the ED summoned Chandra, the Essel Group in a statement said the central financial probe agency has requested Chandra's presence on March 18, 2020, to make a statement on the information which is already available with them.
"Chandra will certainly be present to make the statement and will be more than happy to extend any support or cooperation requested by ED. The Group wishes to clarify that most of the credit facilities were availed for its infrastructure business and there is no debt on ZEEL, ZMCL, etc," it said.
The Essel Group further said that the group also wishes to cite that all credit facilities availed were "fully secured".
"The Group has never made any transactions with Rana Kapoor or his family or for that matter any private entities controlled by them," it added.
Meanwhile, another official related to the probe in Mumbai said that Goyal also did not appear for questioning in connection with the case and asked for another date.
He, however, did not reveal the reason given by Goyal for skipping the ED summons.
On Tuesday, DHFL chief Kapil Wadhawan also skipped the ED summons for questioning in connection with the case.
According to ED sources, promoters of crisis-hit DHFL, Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, cited COVID-19 threat for their non-appearance in connection with money laundering probe against Kapoor.
The ED has summoned the borrowers as part of its probe to investigate the stressed loans sanctioned during the tenure of Rana Kapoor.
The CBI and ED began a probe into short-term debentures of the DHFL in which Yes Bank invested Rs 3,700 crore from April to June 2018.
The probe is part of another investigation pertaining to Yes Bank's purchase of debentures from DHFL against which the company was granted loans totalling Rs 600 crore against a collateral security of around Rs 40 crore only.
The loan amount later turned into a non-performing asset. It was alleged that DHFL's promoter Kapil Wadhawan simultaneously paid kickbacks totalling Rs 600 crore to the Kapoors in the form of a loan of a similar amount to DoIT Urban Ventures, a venture owned by Rana Kapoor's daughters -- Rakhee Kapoor Tandon, Roshni Kapoor and Radha Kapoor.
It was also alleged that Yes Bank did not initiate action to recover the loans extended to DHFL. The ED arrested Rana Kapoor on March 8 morning after several hours of questioning and he was been sent to ED custody till March 20.
One of Rana Kapoor's daughters was stopped from boarding a flight to London by Immigration Department officials at Mumbai airport.
The CBI on Friday registered a fresh case against Rana Kapoor, his wife Bindu Kapoor and Avantha Realty Promoter Gautam Thapar in a fresh case involving the crisis-hit bank. The ED also registered a fresh case of money laundering against Kapoor and his wife on Tuesday.