Mumbai: Trouble for Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal seems to be only mounting. New information and documents available with NDTV raise questions on whether the Railway Minister appointed his family accountant, Sunil Kumar Gupta, as a director of a public sector bank in 2007 -- and, whether Mr Gupta influenced loans of nearly Rs. 50 crore to businesses run by members of the Bansal family.
Mr Bansal was the Minister of State for Finance (Expenditure, Banking and Insurance) from January 2006 to May 2009.
In November 2007, Mr Gupta, who admits to working for the Bansal family in the 80s, was nominated by the government as a Part Time "Non Official Director" in state-owned Canara Bank. In July 2010, he was elevated as a Shareholder Director on the bank's board. Four months later, the bank sanctioned a loan of almost Rs. 20 crore to Theon Pharmaceuticals Limited, a company started by the Bansal family in 2005. Mr Bansal's wife Madhu has the most shares in the company followed by his sons - Amit and Manish.
Speaking on the phone to NDTV, Mr Gupta claimed he does not have the powers to sanction such loans and that all loans sanctioned by Canara bank actually go through HDFC as it charges lower interest rates.
Theon's own documents to the Ministry of Corporate affairs reveal HDFC has sanctioned nearly Rs. 50 crores as loans.
In 2010, Mr Gupta allegedly appointed Mr Bansal's nephew as a director at a Canara Bank-HSBC joint venture.
Documents also reveal conflicting interests in the various positions Mr Gupta holds. Since February 2006, Mr Gupta is also a Director in another of Mr Bansal's companies, Bansi Raunaq Energy Group Limited. Amit Bansal, the son of the Rail Minister, is a director in the company.