Sivasankaran refused to entertain CSR investment in P Chidambaram's Sivaganga (IANS Exclusive)
'IL&FS boss Parthasarthy asked him to plough money in constituency'
The overarching investigation into IL&FS and the shenanigans of the cabal that used to run the organisation are now part of modern folklore, but as one gets into the granularity of the gargantuan scam, one discovers new angles and new elements all the time. For instance, IANS has been examining the interrogation reports of various people questioned. Siva Group owner and Aircel founder C. Sivasankaran was one of the businessmen who received the largesse from IL&FS and was hence questioned.
The questioning is most interesting, but one nugget stands out even as Siva remains evasive over just about everything asked. His cosy relationship with IL&FS boss Ravi Parthasarthy however, stands out and lies exposed.
On being questioned about the email dated 6.5.2013 which IL&FS boss Ravi Parthasarthy had sent to him about P Chidambaram...Siva's answer shows how IL&FS ran its business. Remember, Chidambaram was the Finance Minister at the time and elections were round the corner. Siva says: This email is a request by Mr Ravi to me for doing some social service (CSR) in Karaikudi. Since I do not like P. Chidambaram I have not entertained and I have done nothing in Karaikudi.
For the uninitiated Karaikudi is a municipality in Sivaganga, P Chidambaram's erstwhile Parliamentary constituency.
Siva also acknowledges that The statement running from page no. 1 to 6, containing question no. 1 to 45 is given by me in my free will, without any fear, favour or coercion. I shall stand by it. I have stated the truth and only the truth. I undertake to cooperate with SFIO investigation. I have read my yesterday's statement. I confirm the same, that I have stated truth and not concealed any facts.
Here is a sample of the questions asked and remember that they are posed by an Inspector level officer:
Q. As you are not a director in SIVA group companies, why IL&FS officials used to send emails to you when you were not involved in
the business transactions with them?
Ans.: It is a mistake on the part of IL&FS that they thought that I am promoter of SIVA Group. At no time I claimed to be a promoter or shareholder or a director in any of the companies of SIVA Group.
Q. Why these companies name on SIVA (sic)?
Ans. It's nothing to do with me.
Q. In your yesterday's statement, you had mentioned that you were the mentor to IL&FS, can you please explain( your role and
responsibilities as mentor?)
Ans. I have no responsibilities as mentor. I only participate in mentoring discussions about housing program/scheme of prime minister and other allied subjects which directly or indirectly promote affordable housing.
Q. How many BVI (British Virgin Islands) companies you have interest in (sic)?
Ans. I have no interest in any of the BVI Companies as of July 2014. London Court has frozen all my assets globally.
Q Please give the copy of the order detailing the assets?
Ans. I will send it.
Q What is Broad Court Investment Limited?
Ans. Its a defunct company and I was shareholder in 2014. Some companies were transferred, relinquished, closed or frozen. I will provide list entity-wise and what happened.
Q. Please inform regarding the property owned in London.
Ans. We sold the property, I will provide the details.
Q. Now you are being shown an affidavit filed by you before the court in July 2014, wherein you have stated the entities in which you have interest? Please elaborate on these positions.
Ans. Whatever I have filed once I file bankruptcy all the affairs are handled by receiver. Even they lifted my bankruptcy to execute the settlement, all the assets have not been vested back with me.
Q. What is the meaning of the SIVA Group?
Ans. I have no idea.
Q. Have you ever signed on any document letter on a letter head which had SIVA group logo on it?
Ans. It is possible that I could have signed.
Q. Did India Televentures Ltd Mauritius held any share of Sterling Infotech?
Ans. I don't remember.
Q. Do you remember the name of an entity M?s Westgrove Intl holdings? Did it hold any shares of SIHL?
Ans. I am not aware of.
Q. Did you decide to buy the TTSL shares from TTSL?
Ans. I am not aware of that also.
Q. Did you buy any warrants issued by TTSL?
Ans. I don't remember as my financial consultant in Seychelles used to do it on my behalf.
Q. Did you open any shipping business abroad?
Ans. I have not opened as per my knowledge.
Q. Did you remember of having any Windmill business in Finland? (sic)
Ans. I remember SIVA group had a wind energy business in Finland.
Q. What do you mean by SIVA group?
Ans. They call it SIVA group.
Q. Who calls it SIVA group?
Q Why would they call it so?
Ans. I don't know.
Q. Why did you take a loan from IL& FS ? Answer taking into consideration the various emails shown to you wherein you were actively deciding the terms of engagement of the borrowing entities with IL&FS.
Ans. I have not taken any loan in my personal capacity. Neither I was a shareholder nor a director or employee of any of the companies. I was also not holding any beneficiary role. I only took an active role as a mentor and it is my nature that when I take a role, I do the full justification. I was also not directly or indirectly controlling the Board of Directors.
Q. To whom you were giving the mentoring in said emails (sic)?
Ans. I was mentoring the SIVA Group companies who were trying to take the loan for business purpose.
Q. Who approached you from SIVA Group for such mentoring?
Ans. All the concerned people who were dealing with finance would have approached for mentoring.
Q. Who were the concerned people?
Ans. I don't remember.
Q. Did other companies or groups or individuals (other than the SIVA Group) used to come (sic) for mentoring in case of taking financial
Ans. In case of India, no. In case of outside India, yes, in Seychelles, London and Singapore and some other countries, various companies and people I mentor a lot of entrepreneurs for raising the funds and implementing the projects.
Q. Did the mails came to you from within the SIVA group for approving any decision regarding investments! divestments etc?
Ans. Sometimes the mails come for my mentoring and sometimes I used to discuss but at no time I have forced any decision.
Q. How can you say that you didn't force any decision, when all the terms of any arrangement of the SIVA group with third parties were
negotiated and finalised by you?
Ans. It was the CEO, V.Srinivasan and the CFO Sanjeev Bafna (who) were taking decisions and not me.
Q. Why were the mails coming to you for approval even with such arrangement from the CEO/ CFO?
Ans. I do not know and I am not in a position to comment.
Q. When did you buy Emarald?
Ans. I will get the details, I don't remember as of now.
Q. Kindly see the email dtd 18.02.2012 from you to Mr Ravi and an email from Ravi to you on 18.02.12 with regard to you arranging the
architect for his flats, please explain.
Ans. Yes, I introduced an interior decorator to him, as anyone who asks I help (sic). I was helping them to see the trading systems by Vibhav Kapoor. However, it could not happen because of the non-access to outsiders.
Q. Please see the emails dtd 27.03.12 between you and Ravi wherein it is said that beverages were arranged by you including giving an I-
pad to him.
Q. Please see the email dtd 31.03.12 from you to Ravi, what is the finalisation on Ackruti, Unitech and L&T.
Ans. We were planning to do a deal with Unitech and we gave money to them in the year 2012, they were having problem in returning the money so Mr Deepak Parekh (HDFC) intervened and we got the money. Ackruti was in the regard of our exiting the JV L&T we were looking for construction. We were discussing with Ravi how he could assist us in our issues.
Q. Please see the mail dtd 16.04.12 wherein Ravi has stated that he cannot assist in the Ackruti matter, please explain why did you say
that ILFS approached for broking the deal?
Ans. Initially he had said no and later he said yes.
Q. Please see the email dated June 8, 2012 from you to Hemant Shah and Vimal Shah and Ravi Parthasarathy regarding payment of loan to Ackruti for repaying the amounts by Ackruti (property developer in Andheri Mumbai now known as Hubtown) to SIVA group. Kindly explain.
Ans. This email was written to Hemant to stop the arbitration proceedings between Ackruti and me, so wanted stoppage of arbitrage (sic). I don't know why I send the same to Ravi.
Q Please see the mail dtd 08.06.12 from you to Ravi regarding the balance confirmations on account of Distinctive Realty pvt Ltd and
Hitech Housing Projects. Please explain why the same was sent to Mr Ravi Parthasarathy by you?
Ans. I don't know sir.
Q.Please see the mail dtd 27.03.12 from you to Ravi wherein you have stated that you will handle the interior decorator introduced by you
to Ravi for his Brussels flats. What did you handle?
Ans. Ravi wanted Faoud to come and see and Faoud sent only his assistant for the same so I handled this. IANS