BENGALURU: Shivajinagar Congress MLA R Roshan Baig had taken IMA Group founder-owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who was seeking an NOC from the government to raise a Rs 600-crore loan from a bank, to revenue minister RV Deshpande. Revealing this in an interview with TOI, Deshpande, however, denied that he had done Khan any undue favour. TOI had on Friday reported that a Muslim politician had taken Khan to a minister to enable him to get a clean chit for his company’s operations, but a senior IAS officer declined to issue the certificate despite pressure from the minister. Deshpande said it was the police department which had given IMA a clean chit after the RBI insisted that the firm’s deals be looked into. Why were you particular about giving a clean chit to IMA when it was in financial distress and Mohammed Mansoor Khan was desperately trying raise funds through a bank loan? It was not me or the revenue department that gave a clean chit to IMA. Police submitted a report that the activities of the company did not attract action under provisions of the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments (KPID) Act and said there was no case against it. We only wanted to hear from the law department about the company as it was still under the RBI scanner. Did Khan meet you in person seeking help…? Khan met me last month. I cannot deny this fact. But I didn’t do him any undue favour. Khan came to meet me with Baig. Baig said Khan was from his constituency and was of good character. I clearly told Baig that we would only do whatever we were allowed to do within the legal framework. But these developments give scope for doubt that the revenue department went out of its way to help the IMA Group… As I said earlier, the government did not do anything outside the legal framework. While the police department reported that the activities of IMA did not attract provisions of the KPID Act as it was not collecting deposits from the public, the RBI wanted to reinvestigate. I told my principal secretary Rajkumar Khatri to follow the laid-down procedure. He sent the file to the law department. There are allegations that pressure was exerted on officials… I am not one to hide anything. I hadn’t even seen the file before Khatri sent it to the law department. It came to me only after the law department sent it back. I am so transparent that I invite you to see the file and learn about its movement from the revenue department to the law department and back to the revenue department. While I don’t remember the exact details, the file came to me last month and the government is still pursuing the matter. With all this, how do you expect people to have faith in the government and hope to get justice? People can repose faith in the government as we are making sincere efforts to get the depositors justice. We are even looking into new legislation to ensure speedy disposal of cases involving Ponzi companies.
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