Chennai, Aug 21: After the Central government-owned mortgage lender, Bank of Baroda (BOB) decided to withdraw its decision to auction BJP MP and actor Sunny Deol’s Mumbai property, the major banking sector union has criticised the move.
The bank, laden with Rs 34,832.16 crore gross non-performing loans as of June 30,decided to withdraw its decision to auction actor Sunny Deol’s Mumbai property for non- payment of a loan amount of about Rs 56 crore and interest on that.
“This seems to be BJP’s style of phone banking. As to the huge bad loans in government owned banks, the BJP used to allege that Congress party leaders, when their party was in power at the Centre, used to call bankers to sanction loans to their favourites,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) told IANS.
The bank in a newspaper advertisement on Monday said that "the sale notice in respect of Mr. Ajay Sing Deol alias Mr. Sunny Deol stands withdrawn due to Technical Reasons” and listed the description of the property.
On Sunday in the newspaper advertisement, that has been widely circulated in social media, Bank of Baroda said the borrower, Sunny Deol, owed the bank about Rs 55.99 crore plus interest and cost from December 26, 2022 onwards less recovery up to date.
Whether the bank misspelt the actor’s name as 'Ajay Sing Deol' instead of 'Ajay Singh Deol' is yet to be ascertained.
According to the bank, the property that was put on e-auction measures 599.44 sq. metres and a structure known as Sunny Villa located in Mumbai’s Juhu locality.
Sunny Deol was described as the borrower/guarantor and the other guarantors are Dharmendra Singh Deol and Sunny Sounds Pvt Ltd.
The bank decided to auction the property under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2022.
The reserve price was fixed at about Rs 51.43 crore and the earnest money deposit was about Rs 5.14 crore.
The bank had said, the property can be inspected between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on September 14 and the status of the possession is symbolic.
The bank also said the borrowers/guarantors can redeem the securities by paying the outstanding dues/costs/charges and expenses at any time before the sale is conducted.
The auction notice was issued by Bank of Baroda’s Zonal Stressed Asset Recovery Branch, Ballard Estate, Mumbai.
Sunny Deol was not available on phone when IANS tried to get his reaction to the Bank of Baroda’s e-auction advertisement on Sunday.
Reacting to the withdrawal of the auction notice, AIBEA's Venkatachalam told IANS: “Obviously it is politics. The auction notice was withdrawn due to adverse publicity to the BJP. They are no different. We demand a thorough investigation into this as to who had issued the first advertisement and who had decided to withdraw the same and why. There should be accountability for this.”
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])