SFIO probe finds IL&FS head Parthasarthy’s wife had business dealings with C Sivasankaran

An investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) into the alleged fraudulent transactions between C Sivasankaran and IL&FS suggests that Vishpala Parthasarathy, wife of IL&FS head Ravi Parthasarathy had business dealings with C Sivasankaran in a private capacity.

As per the SFIO report, Vishpala, who ran a polyclinic, entered into a partnership with C Sivasankaran’s company AIWO that offered weight management programs, during February-March 2013, even as C Sivasankaran was defaulting on the loans taken from IL&FS.

IL&FS also extended loans to other companies owned by C Sivasankaran despite the defaults and C Sivasankaran being internationally proclaimed as bankrupt.

SFIO found a mail trail between Ravi Parthasarthy and former IFIN MD Ramesh Bawa about sanctioning Rs 150-crore loan to Sivasankaran. Out of this, Rs 50 crore was disbursed even as an earlier loan of Rs 450 crores remained unpaid.

When questioned, Ravi Parthasarthy justified the fresh loan sanction saying, “The purpose of the additional facility was aimed at trying to procure appropriate additional security that would cover our aggregate exposure.”

As per SFIO chargesheet, “M/S Siva Ventures was sanctioned loan of Rs 210 crores, another loan facility was extended to M/S Siva Commercial and various other loans were given to the Siva group till 2014.”

IL&FS group chief financial officer Vibhav Kapoor had earlier highlighted the close friendship between Parthasarathy and Sivasankaran. Bawa had also told SFIO, “C Sivasankaran was introduced to IL&FS/IFIN by Ravi Parthasarthy, who initiated the term loan facilities. My team used to be advised that these are good proposals and Siva’s association with the group will give us huge business opportunities. Although at our level in IFIN we did complete the required processes for sanction there used to be huge pressure to expedite it.”

The latest SFIO report also has a mention of former finance minister P Chidambaram based on a passing reference made by Sivasankaran during the investigation. According to Sivasankaran, Ravi Parthasarthy had requested him to offer some social service in favour of Chidambaram in Karaikudi. However, Sivasakaran said, “I don’t like P Chidambaram, so have not entertained or done anything at Karaikudi.”

In response, P Chidambaram told Moneycontrol, “I know nothing about this alleged conversation. What ‘social service’? I am glad nothing was done’.

Sivasankaran recently moved Chennai High Court to withdraw a look out notice issued against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also summoned Sivasankaran on July 18 in Mumbai for questioning in the IL&FS case.