The Enforcement Directorate has moved the apex court against the Delhi High Court decision to grant bail to former Fortis promoter Shivinder Singh. The Delhi HC Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani, during a hearing on July 23, said there was no rationale behind keeping Shivinder Singh, the younger brother of Malvinder Singh, in the custody as an undertrial. Both of them have been behind bars in a money laundering case concerning Religare Enterprises Limited (REL).
He was granted bail a personal bond of Rs 1 crore and two sureties by family members of Rs 25 lakh each. Shivinder, currently lodged in Tihar jail, was still not able to walk out as he has been booked in another case of cheating, criminal conspiracy and breach of trust by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police.
"...criminal investigation is not a metaphorical fishing-rod handed to an investigating agency, to indulge its penchant for 'fishing around' for evidence, at its leisure and in the fullness of time," the sharply worded Delhi HC judgement said, adding that an investigation was a time-bound process, which should be conducted in a proper framework and as per the law.
As per the ED, the investigation is on against Singh brothers, and his custody is important to find facts related to the money laundering case. The probe agency, however, has not filed any supplementary chargesheet Since January 10. "...prison is a place for punishment; and no punishment can be legitimate without a trial. There must be compelling basis, grounds and reasons to detain an undertrial in judicial custody, which this court does not discern in the present case," the Delhi HC had ruled last week.
The judge also asked the ED investigating officer to request the Bureau of Immigration to open lookout circular (LOC) in Shivinder's name to prevent any unannounced exit from the country.
The court, however, rejected the bail pleas of former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) Sunil Godhwani and former CEO of REL Kavi Arora. Shivinder Singh, his brother Malvinder, Sunil Godhwani, Kavi Arora and Anil Saxena were arrested by the EOW of Delhi Police in October last year over charges of fund siphoning filed by Manpreet Singh Suri of Religare Finvest. The complaint alleged that the accused had taken loans while managing Religare Finvest, but had invested these funds in other companies. They, along with others, were arrested on October 11, 2019.
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