An Indian passport sits on a desk along with a set of visa application forms at a BLS International Services Ltd. visa processing center in New Delhi, India (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)  

CBI Declines Ex-RBI Deputy Governor’s Plea For Travelling Aboard

The Central Bureau of Investigation has declined a plea from former Reserve Bank deputy governor K C Chakrabarty for letting him travel outside the country, according to agency officials.

Chakrabarty, a London-based Non Residential Indian, was stopped at the Mumbai airport by the immigration authorities in May this year, based on the Look out Circular (LoC) issued against him by the CBI. He has been in the country since then and had plead to have the LoC withdrawn.

The LoC has been issued against him in connection with a Rs 41.3-crore bank fraud case involving a tours and travel firm, officials in New Delhi said. Chakrabarty, who was questioned by the agency in connection with the case in April, might not return if he was allowed to leave the country, they added.

A ‘Look out Circular’ bars an individual from leaving the country.

In a letter to the CBI last month, Chakrabarty, who served as the deputy governor of the RBI between 2009 and 2014, sought withdrawal of the LoC so that he could return to London.

The agency issued the LoC against Chakrabarty in connection with a First Information Report registered against Delhi-based travel company -- Airworth Travels and Tours Private Limited, its promoters and “unnamed public servants”. The name of the former RBI deputy governor does not feature in the FIR, but the CBI questioned him in April this year in connection with the case.

A case has been registered for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and fabrication of documents against Gaurav Mehra and Sonila Mehra, both directors of Airworth Travels and Tours Private Limited, and unknown officials of Indian Overseas Bank. It is alleged that they hatched criminal conspiracy and siphoned off sanctioned credit limit and bank guarantees by submitting fabricated financial statements for availing these facilities. The duo also allegedly submitted false account books, debit statements and induced Indian Overseas Bank’s officials to disburse the funds to the tune of Rs 41.3 crore between 2009 and 2013.

The CBI officials said that the agency was ascertaining the role of Chakrabarty in the case. They said he had been summoned to appear before the agency in December last year and he came only after four months in April this year.

When contacted, Chakrabarty said that he was sorting out the issue with the probe agency and would not like to comment on it.