CID searches BJP MLA’s sugar mill over unpaid loan
CID raids BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi's sugar factory in Gokak over non-payment of bank loan. Documents seized for further investigation.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducted a raid on Tuesday night at the Soubhagya Laxmi sugar factory owned by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi in Gokak. According to sources familiar with the matter, the raid which extended late into the night, was prompted by allegations of non-payment of a bank loan.
Officials said a four-member CID team led by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Anjumal Nayak from Bengaluru branch descended on the mill in Chikkanandi village. The team thoroughly examined the mill’s financial records, including its accounts, transactions with other banks, and other pertinent financial documents. Administrative staff, particularly from the accounts department, were questioned during the raid.
“Except the accounts and clerical staff, the rest of the administrative staff were allowed to go home after completion of their duty hours,” officers in the intelligence department said.
The CID team departed with several documents, account books, and banking records deemed essential for further investigation. An anonymous source within the intelligence department disclosed that both CID members and sugar mill officials signed copies of the list of documents seized as proof of retrieval.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, a seven-time representative of the Gokak constituency, established the sugar mill on December 31, 2008. The mill’s authorised share capital stood at ₹83 crore, and its latest balance sheet was filed on March 31, 2019, said the official.
Despite agreeing to adhere to all conditions, Jarkiholi secured loans totalling ₹232.88 crore from four banks within the state between December 7, 2013, and March 31, 2017. However, as of December 2023, the sugar mill had failed to repay the principal amount and accrued interest, totalling ₹439.07 crore.
Following unanswered correspondences and reminders regarding loan repayment, the manager of the Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank Rajanna Muttushetty on January 5, 2024, filed a complaint against Jarkiholi, who was then the managing director of the sugar mill, and four other members of its management committee. Based on the complaint, the accused were booked under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code at Vishveshwarpuram police station.
According to the complainant, the loan was intended for the establishment, expansion, and maintenance of the sugar mill. However, despite signing loan agreements, the mill failed to honour its financial obligations to the banks.
The complainant further alleged that Jarkiholi, who held significant roles in the mill at the time of loan acquisition, abdicated his responsibilities after securing the loan.
“It asserts that he appointed unrelated individuals to oversee company affairs, contravening the terms stipulated by the Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank,” the complaint said.
Additionally, the FIR alleged that the accused violated the bank’s stipulations by replacing directors without prior approval until the loan was repaid.
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