The Enforcement Directorate on Friday filed its first chargesheet in a multi-thousand crore scam involving IL&FS. The agency named Ravi Parthasarthy, Ramesh C Bawa, Arun K Saha, Hari Sankaran, K Ramchand, IL&FS Financial Services Ltd and Siva Group's C Sivasankaran, who has also been probed in Aircel Maxis case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Interestingly, the ED blamed credit rating agencies for not doing due diligence. According to the chargesheet, "Investigation also revealed that credit rating agencies were pressurised for favourable ratings. Chief rating officers of ICRA has also accepted that they were being pressurised by Saha, Parthasarathy and Bawa for favourable ratings. The rating officer of ICRA stated that IFIN (IL&FS Financial Arrives Limited) would have a different rating if those facts were disclosed to them. The members of CoD (Committee of Directors)of IFIN maintained high rating under the parentage of IL&FS.
The chargesheet by ED revealed there was a collusion between the top management of the company and C Sivasankaran.
The agency body in the chargesheet also alleged that employees were given shares of IL&FS at a very nominal price and after that the group facilitated the sale of the same shares to LIC at a very high price, thus providing huge gains.
It also alleged that the amount defrauded was distributed in cash to the employees in which larger chunk was taken by CoD. All this was done despite operational losses.
The chargesheet further claimed that in March 2018, CoD sanctioned and disbursed loans of Rs. 2270 core to various third parties in order to further finance the ITNL (IL&FS Transport Network).
This happened despite RBI issuing injunction in November 2017 directing IFIN not to finance any more to its group companies. Hence, the said Rs. 2270 was also sanctioned and disbursed by committing a scheduled offence.
ED further claimed in its chargesheet that, "there is considerable hike in receivables from IFIN and ILFS by R Parthasarathy, Hari Sankaran, Vibhav Kapoor and Arun Saha, whereas Ramesh Bawa has received high amount of Performance Related Perquisite (PRP) which is usually given on the basis of profit earned by any company. It is clear that there was a substantial hike in PRP and sitting fees of the members of CoDs in the last consecutive of three Financial years when there was already a substantial liquidation crisis in ILFS Group.
Later on, according to the probe agency, money was also taken out from the IL&FS Employee Welfare Trust (EWT) which was made for the purposes of employees' welfare. However, CoDs had changed the trust deed multiple times, and in the process also devised a strategy of siphoning off the money from the trust to garb of distribution of shares of IL&Fs.
IL&FS Group sanctioned around Rs 494 crore of loan to Siva Group in between December 2011 to 2018 in different group companies.
The probe agency has attached properties of Siva group namely SIVA Industries & Holdings Ltd.,(Rs. 100 crore) Siva Ventures Ltd.(Rs. 270 crore), SIVA Compulink Ltd. (Rs. 35 crore), Alwo Ltd.(Rs. 40 crore) and SIVA India Commercial Traders Pvt. Ltd.(Rs. 55 crore), against the pledging of 7.85 crore unlisted shares of Tata TeleServices Ltd. in March 2019.