CBI raids NDTV founder Prannoy Roy’s house in bank fraud case, channel terms it ‘witch hunt’
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday searched the office and residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy, his wife Radhika and others in connection with a band fraud case.
Searches were carried out four places in the national capital and Dehradun in Uttarakhand. Although the premises of RRPR Holdings, the promoter company of NDTV, were searched, the offices of NDTV were excluded.
According to CBI sources, the agency has registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank.
The company had reportedly taken a Rs 366 crore from the bank in 2008 on the personal guarantee of the promoters. The loan was eventually settled a year after it was due and by paying a lower amount.
CBI’s banking fraud department, as a part of its recent crackdown on wilful defaulters, subsequently registered a case and began investigation. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax department have also been investigating the channel since 2014.
While an official statement from Roy is awaited, a number of senior NDTV employees took to social media to highlight government’s alleged attempt at intimidating independent media voices.
The channel has been critical of the ruling government and is often labeled anti-BJP by the party’s supporters.
Dehradun: Caretakers at NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy’s house say 6-7 people from CBI came in the morning and searched the house. pic.twitter.com/RYK0Bkwpx4
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 5, 2017
Official statement from NDTV:
“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.”