Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan said that mother's old age and personal ill-health, which raised susceptibility to fast-spreading coronavirus, were the reasons for their travel to Mahabaleshwar. The reports that both were absconding and flouting the rules of the coronavirus lockdown are "false and absurd," legal firm Rashmikant and Partners said on behalf of Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan in a statement released Sunday. "Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan and their mother were highly susceptible to the coronavirus, which could pose a serious risk to their health in view of their medical conditions. Considering the circumstances, the Wadhawans thought it fit to travel further away from Khandala and Mumbai and thus decided to go to their ancestral residence in Mahabaleshwar. They obtained official permission to do so. The only reason for their travel was to protect themselves and their family," the statement added.
The Wadhawans are actually cooperating with the investigative agencies, it further said. Both are wanted in the DHFL-YES Bank case by both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Wadhawans were recently booked along with 21 others by the Satara police for violating the curfew norms imposed amid COVID-19 pandemic. A senior bureaucrat in Maharashtra government, who issued them a pass to travel to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai with other family members and servants, has been suspended for allowing this. Wadhawan family members along with their servants were reportedly detained by civic officials from their Diwan Villa farm house in Mahabaleshwar. The entire group of 23 people have now been moved to a government quarantine facility and an investigation has been launched.
"If they were absconders from the law they would hardly have disclosed their whereabouts to seek permission to go from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar. The suggestion is false and absurd," the statement said.
"The Wadhawans were also in communication for legal and other official matters with various other authorities during this period. Mr. Kapil Wadhawan's passport is deposited with the Enforcement Directorate whilst Mr. Dheeraj Wadhawan cannot travel outside India without permission from the Hon'ble Court. Hence they are not a flight risk. In fact, they are quite anxious to join the investigation," the statement added.