CBI registers case against NDTV’s Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and RRPR holdings

New Delhi, June5:The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against NDTV’s Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and a private company RRPR Holding for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank immediately after CBI Raids at his residence on Monday Morning.

Prannoy Roy is the executive chairman and co-founder of the NDTV. Roy founded the TV network along with his wife Radhika Roy in 1988.

“The raid is part of a crackdown on bank frauds,” said the CBI spokesperson. The case reportedly is linked to an ICICI bank loan default.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday conducted searches on the premises of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy in New Delhi and in Dehradun, in connection with a case of alleged ₹48-crore loss to ICICI Bank.

“The CBI has registered a case against Mr. Roy, his wife and their company RRPR Holding Pvt. Ltd. for allegedly causing loss to ICICI Bank,” a CBI official said. The searches were carried out at the RRPR office and Mr. Roy’s residence in Greater Kailash-I.

RRPR, in which Mr. Roy and his wife are shareholders, is a holding company of NDTV and had taken a loan of ₹ 375 crores from ICICI Bank in October 2008. The Income-Tax Department has also conducted an assessment of the company’s financial dealings in connection with this.

A senior CBI official said the rationale behind registering the case related to ICICI Bank against Mr. Roy and others is the Supreme Court directive in the Global Trust Bank case in February last year, in which court said chiefs of private banks should also be treated as public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Embezzlement of public money kept in private bank would, therefore, be covered.

The NDTV has termed the raids a “witch-hunt” based on “same old endless false accusations.”

The television channel has released the following statement:

“This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations.

“NDTV and its promoters will fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies. We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India.

“We have one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: we will fight for our country and overcome these forces.”

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal condemned the raid, terming it an “attempt to silence independence and anti-establishment voices.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed shock over the raids on Mr. Roy’s house and termed it a “disturbing trend.”