Sterling Biotech Lenders Keep Pushing For Settlement with Absconding Promoters, Under Investigation for Money Laundering
Even while the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)’s Mumbai bench blasted a consortium of banks for their attempt to withdraw the bankruptcy petitions of the Sterling Biotech group—bankers themselves seem to be in a defiant mood and are set to contest the NCLT order.  This was decided at a meeting of Sterling Biotech lenders on 9th May that Moneylife has accessed. 
 
Remember, the sterling group owes over Rs15,600 crore to a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank (Sterling Biotech owes over Rs7,500 crore to lenders, sister concern Sterling SEZ owes over Rs8,100 crore). It has offered to pay less than 45% of this amount as a one-time settlement. But what is important here is that the promoters of Sterling -- Nitin, Chetak and Dipti Sandesara and Hitesh Patel—are absconding from India and are also under investigation by all the top investigation agencies in India. 
 
So what emboldens bankers in this specific case when the courts have questioned their conduct? The Gujarat-based Sandesaras have been known for their political connections and their closeness to former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana. 
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    Chanda Kochhar Money Trail-IV: Ubiquitous Mhatre locked in Kochhar family enterprise
    As one goes deeper and deeper into the concentric circle of rot left behind by the Kochhars, the revelations are confounding. La Familia was never of this magnitude and its bedrock couldn't have been open and naked cronyism to this degree. Paper trails always have a missing link. The missing link leads you to the destination, in this case helps connecting the dots.
     
    In Brothers Kochhars case, the missing link is Sharad Mhatre. In hot pursuit of the paper trail of family enterprise, IANS has now found that two investment companies, Elegant Investrade Pvt Ltd and Daisy Finvest, were used by the Kochhars to further their business interests. Elegant was incorporated on January 29, 1997 by Ms Savita Naik and Mr Sidharth Jadhav for Rs 20. 
     
    Sometime in 1997, it was acquired by Anand Mohan Dalwani, a resident of 6 B Prem Kutir, 177, Backbay Reclamation, Marine Drive, Mumbai-20. The same year, Banque Indo Suez (later known as Calyon Bank), one of the key lenders to Credential Finance Ltd (CFL), filed company petition No 265 of 1997 before the Bombay High Court for winding up of CFL for their failure to repay the loan and the appointment of a liquidator.
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    All cash withdrawal limits go back to pre-demonetisation era
    All limits on savings bank cash withdrawals post-demonetisation ended on Monday, as had been announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last month.
     
    In a two-stage process, the weekly withdrawal limit per account had been raised to Rs 50,000, from Rs 24,000, with effect from February 20, and all limits on ATM withdrawals were slated to cease from March 13.
     
    The announcement had been made by RBI Deputy Governor R. Gandhi following the fiscal's last monetary policy review announcement by the central bank in February, when it kept its key interest rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent, saying it awaited data on the full impact of the government's demonetisation drive.
     
    On January 30, the RBI had ended all curbs on withdrawals from Current Accounts, Cash Credit Accounts and Overdraft Accounts.
     
    The limits were placed following the November 8 demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The upper limit at ATMs was just Rs 2,500 initially and was later raised to Rs 4,500.
     
    In January, the RBI had hiked the daily ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 and doubled the weekly Current Account withdrawal limit to Rs 1 lakh.
     
    The upper limit for weekly withdrawal from bank accounts had been raised to Rs 24,000 from Rs 20,000 in November.
     
    While lifting of ATM withdrawal limits represents coming full circle for these machines in respect of demonetisation, the return to normalcy in terms of cash available in them is still awaited, indicating the slow pace of remonetisation.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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