Mumbai: Purti Group MD Sudhir Dive on Tuesday came out in defence of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, saying the national leader had no links with the company.
The defence came after a report in the Times of India raised questions on the source of funding for Gadkari’s Nagpur-based firm Purti Power and Sugar Ltd, which is controlled by him.
Dive said the charges against Gadkari are baseless and that he has no relations with Purti group.
The Purti MD however acknowledged that Global Safety Vision had given Rs 164 crore loan to Purti on 14% interest rate after mortgaging several of its assets.
This loan was to be repaid in 73 instalments, most of which have been repaid, he said.
He further said that Purti group has over 10,500 shareholders and it was possible that some may not have given correct address.
According to the TOI report, initial investigations into Gadkari’s business interests have exposed large scale benami transactions between his firm and other groups between 1995 and 1999.
Gadkari’s firm is alleged to have received huge loans by a construction firm, Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which was awarded several big ticket contracts between the above-mentioned period, when Gadkari served as Maharashtra’s PWD Minister.
Gadkari’s firm is alleged to have received significant investments not only from IRB but 16 other groups, spread across four cities and believed to be controlled by the BJP chief’s close aides.
What further arouses suspicion is the fact that the addresses on which these firms have been registered with the Registrar of Companies could also not be verified.
A close examination of 2010-11 records have revealed that directors of these investor companies included Gadkari`s driver, his accountant and two employees of Purti.
One of them is said to be a close associate of Gadkari`s son, Nikhil. However, the IRB link to Gadkari’s firm is significant since its promoter DP Mhaiskar subscribed to 68.4 lakh shares of Purti.
Besides, an IRB firm, Global Safety Vision, also loaned Rs 164 crore to Gadkari`s company. Interestingly, the BJP chief, who is one of the seven promoters of Purti, currently holds just 310 shares worth Rs 3,100.
Just like the fake addresses of the firms that invested and loaned Purti, the credentials of their directors and promoters are also intriguing.
Interestingly, several investor companies in Purti are run by common set of directors.
Besides, the common set of directors, another intriguing aspect of Purti`s investor companies is that 19 of these have same email id with the Registrar of Companies — firstname.lastname@example.org.