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CBI books former Maruti chief Jagdish Khattar for defrauding PNB

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked former MD of Maruti Suzuki Jagdish Khattar for allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 110 crore.

December 24, 2019 / 07:03 PM IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked former MD of Maruti Suzuki Jagdish Khattar for allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 110 crore.

The agency booked a case against Khattar, his company Carnation (which Khattar started after leaving Maruti in 2007) and other unknown persons under criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal misconduct, ANI reported.

An IAS officer who rose to climb the rungs to become the MD of Maruti Udyog in 1999, when it was a government enterprise.

Suzuki retained him as MD after Maruti's privatisation in 2002, and helped the company stave off stiff competition from foreign auto companies that were setting up base in India.

Khattar retired from Maruti at age 65. After this, he started Carnation, a multi-brand car sales and service network.


Carnation was backed by marquee private equity investors such as Premji Invest but its business model, which underwent several changes, failed.

In 2017, the company was put under bankruptcy proceedings by PNB. In 2018, the brand along with some of its assets was acquired by Mahindra First Choice.

Jagdish Khattar, in a statement, said, "Carnation was a board managed company with the highest ethical standards and best management practices. Some of the most reputed investors in the country including Premji Invest and Gaja Capital were board members who, in their own interest, kept a tight vigil on its operations and finances. Each financial decision was based on comprehensive business plans and approvals. The company was finally sold to Mahindra Group. Post its failure as a business, an exhaustive and detailed independent forensic audit at the behest of the bankers under the resolution professional was conducted by a leading independent auditor and nothing was found amiss. Having found no lapses in operations or financial management the Bank has referred the matter to CBI as a part of the process followed by them. The company has not indulged in any wrongdoing. A search was conducted by CBI but nothing incriminating was found."

"I had invested my life savings in the company. I understand the bank is following a process. I have always made myself available and will continue to fully cooperate with all the agencies. The claims being made were examined in great detail during the forensic audit and we provided satisfactory replies on each. We were cleared in the forensic audit on each count. I have no doubt we will be vindicated again once the investigation is completed," he said.
Moneycontrol News
TAGS: #maruti
first published: Dec 24, 2019 02:27 pm

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