A British national has been arrested for allegedly forging a document in the name of the finance ministry to stay proceedings against his company under a law to recover non-performing asset loans, police said on Tuesday.
London resident Bharat Amritlal Parikh’s Gujarat-based GPT Steel industries Ltd was facing proceedings under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002, they said.
The Act empowers banks and financial institutions of India to take over assets and properties of a borrower to recover an unpaid debt.
Parikh is a charted accountant and is also engaged in the business of import and export of steel products. He is a British national with an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) passport, police said.
Investigation started in the case following a complaint from the finance ministry that a forged notification document had been used to stay SARFAESI proceedings against the company, M/s GPT Steel industries Ltd, Ahmedabad, a senior police officer said.
The company had raised a loan from a public sector bank and it turned into a non-performing asset (NPA) in 2008, having an exposure of Rs 518 crore, the officer said.
Later on, SARFAESI proceedings were initiated by the bank, the officer said.
On the basis of the forged notification, the Bhuj district magistrate had put the possession of a mortgaged property and SARFAESI action against the company on hold, police said.
During investigation, it was found that Parikh in conspiracy with his associates prepared and used the forged notification in getting the SARFAESI proceedings stayed. Verification made at Bhuj in Gujarat and the details procured from various quarters have established the fact of forgery, the officer said.
A look out circular was issued against Parikh and he was detained at IGI Airport in Delhi on arrival from London, and later arrested. He has been taken into police custody and further investigation is in progress, Joint Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing) Chhaya Sharma said.
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