Biggest lender SBI has filed a petition to initiate insolvency proceedings following failure of the Videocon family to repay loans
Problems of the Dhoot family, promoters of Videocon Industries Limited (VIL), has increased further with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) giving its nod to start personal insolvency proceedings against Rajkumar Dhoot and Pradip Kumar Dhoot.
A Mumbai bench of NCLT accepted a petition filed by Ashish Narayan on behalf of State Bank of India (SBI), the Videocon group's largest lender. Dhoots were personal guarantors to the bank loans. Pradip Kumar Dhoot had given a personal guarantee to a loan worth Rs 6,158 crore to pay off outstanding loans of the group while his elder brother Rajkumar Dhoot had given a personal guarantee for Rs 5,353 crore.
Two separate petitions have been filed by the SBI with NCLT. SBI wants to invoke the personal guarantee given by the two Dhoot brothers.
Rajkumar Dhoot had served as a Member of the Rajya Sabha for three consecutive terms since 2002 and retired last year when his party Shiv Sena opted to give chance to a new face in his place. NCLT will hear the petition against the two Dhoot brothers on 27 January 2020.
NCLT is scheduled to hear a separate case of personal insolvency filed by the bank against eldest of the Dhoot brothers, Venugopal Dhoot, on 29 January for standing personal guarantee for a similar bank loan availed by VIL.
Rajkumar Dhoot has given a personal guarantee to the SBI loan in 2012. SBI decided to move to the NCLT when it received no response to its demand certificates sent to the three Dhoot brothers after VIL failed to repay the loan. The first demand certificate was sent in February 2018 and the second in July 2020.
The Dhoot family is already being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the alleged role in the ICICI Bank case in which the money received by Deepak Kochhar, husband of the then ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar was routed through Venugopal Dhoot. Chanda Kochhar was subsequently fired from the post when this fraud came to light.
The Dhoot family offered to pay Rs 30,000 crore to lenders in October 2020. The offer was similar to the one offered by Venugopal Dhoot in 2017 in which he offered to repay the entire debt, which he failed to keep. The lenders showed a lack of faith in the family, rejected the offer and moved to the NCLT for initiation of the insolvency process.