On Vijay Mallya Letters, CBI To Question Former Aide Of Manmohan Singh: Sources

 The letter trail linking liquor baron Vijay Mallya to the UPA leadership has drawn the attention of the Central Bureau of Investigation, which has recently filed a charge-sheet against him in the Rs. 900 crore IDBI loan default case. Top investigators told NDTV that they will examine former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's top aide TKA Nair soon, along with another bureaucrat who was a top banking official.

The BJP has alleged that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Finance Minister P Chidambaram helped Mr Mallya get loans despite his poor repayment record -- citing his letters written to the government between 2011 and 2013. The UPA has denied any wrongdoing.  

The CBI has decided to question Mr Nair -- the former principal secretary and advisor to Dr Singh - on basis of a letter Mr Mallya wrote to the former Prime Minister. "You had asked me to follow up with Mr TKA Nair, which I did and I am deeply appreciative of the fact that Mr Nair immediately spoke to the concerned people in the ministries involved," he wrote. "Mr Nair accompanied you on your official visit to the USA and despite my follow-up in his absence, we have not received any relief thus far," the letter further read.

Officials say the "relief" mentioned refers to the government's intervention with the Consortium of Banks which had cumulatively loaned his company Rs. 9,000 crore.  The money is yet to be paid back and amid the banks' efforts to retrieve it, Mr Mallya left the country for the UK.

The agency wants to know if there was any other communication before Mr Mallya got Rs. 2,300 crore loan in 2010. "It isn't possible that such favours were given to Vijay Mallya without pressure from outside, and that is what the investigation will focus on now,'' said a senior CBI official. The letters revealed till now only relate to his communication with the UPA between 2011 and 2013. Officials of the CBI said a month ago, they requested for access to all PMO files from 2011.

On Tuesday, the agency moved an affidavit in a Mumbai court to formally begin extradition proceedings and will move the file to the Ministry of Foreign affairs.