Former minister and Rajya Sabha member Y S Chowdary on Sunday refuted the Enforcement Directorate(ED)'s charges against him involving the defrauding of banks by his group companies among other offences allegedly committed in violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Chowdary said he has no role in the functioning of Sujana Group companies, as he had relinquished the executive positions in 2010 when he was first nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He also claimed that the Best & Crompton Engineering Projects Limited (BCEPL) against which the investigation was first launched or some companies named by the ED officials belongs to his friends and were not part of Sujana Group.
The Telugu Desam Party MP, however, admitted that three of his group companies had a debt of about Rs 57 billion, which remained unpaid after the companies went for corporate debt restructuring (CDR) as the business did not do well.
"All that the ED has mentioned in its statement was about this debt. I don't think availing loans from banks is an act of crime, If loan default is an offence, why not the ED conducted similar searches at IL&FS group, which has about to default loans amounting to a whopping Rs 1 trillion," Chowdary questioned, He has also refuted the claim that the cars seized from his residence were registered in the name of some shell companies.
Stating that he has engaged a team of legal experts to deal with the charges levelled by the ED, the former minister said that he had told the investigating officials that he would not be able to appear for questioning on Tuesday owing to Parliament Sessions. The ED officials had agreed to a suggestion that he would appear for questioning on January 9, 2019.