Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai this morning in connection with a money-laundering probe into crisis-hit Yes Bank and its founder, Rana Kapoor. The central agency had issued a summons earlier this week but Mr Ambani, 60, had asked for a delay citing health concerns. Accepting his request, the agency had told him to appear before it by 11 am.
He will be questioned in connection with loans given by Yes Bank after the Enforcement Directorate filed a case alleging Mr Kapoor had received kickbacks, via companies purportedly controlled by his family, for going slow on bad loans extended by his bank to some big corporates.
Yes Bank has around Rs 12,800 crore exposure to the Reliance Group.
In a statement issued last week the Reliance Group denied any links with Rana Kapoor, against whom money-laundering and bribery cases have been filed by both the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"Reliance Group states it has NIL direct or indirect exposure to Rana Kapoor, Former CEO of YES Bank, or his wife or daughters, or any entities controlled by Rana Kapoor or his family. Reliance Group says its entire exposure to Yes Bank is fully secured and transacted in the ordinary course of business," the statement read.
"The Reliance Group is committed to honour repayments of all its borrowings from Yes Bank Ltd through its various asset monetisation programmes which are all at advanced stages," the statement added.
The Enforcement Directorate, taking cognisance of the CBI's second FIR against Mr Kapoor and his wife, has also filed a second case in connection with a property purchased by his wife from a reality firm which defaulted loans with Yes Bank.
Meanwhile, sources have said that other Reliance Group officials will also be called in this week.
Earlier the Reserve Bank of India had imposed a moratorium and capped withdrawal by Yes Bank users at Rs 50,000 a month. That moratorium was lifted at 6 pm Wednesday.
The bank is now also allowed to advance loans; this had also been barred by the central bank.
The government had earlier tasked state-run lender State Bank of India to lead the rescue operation.
As part of the RBI-backed plan, SBI will acquire up to 49 per cent stake in Yes Bank, and will be required to maintain a minimum holding of 26 per cent in Yes Bank for three years. Investment into Yes Bank has also been announced by other lenders, such as Axis Bank and ICICI Bank.
All the existing employees of Yes Bank will be retained as part of the deal.
Yes Bank customers have been facing a tough time in accessing internet banking, using payment via UPI and withdrawing from ATMs after the RBI's sudden announcement led to a scramble to take out money.
Current account holders have complained of severe problems to service their debts and pay salaries. Many complained they were unable to pay wages to workers during the spring festival of Holi.