The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved order on the bail plea of Shivinder Mohan Singh in a money laundering case of alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd.
Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani sought certain clarifications from the counsel for Shivinder Singh as well as the Enforcement Directorate and reserved the verdict.
The high court, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing, had on June 22 issued notice and sought response from the ED on the bail plea.
Amit Mahajan, who was representing the Enforcement Directorate, has opposed the bail plea saying that in the present case, money was diverted through a complex web of transactions and finding the trail was not easy.
He argued that releasing Shivinder Singh on bail would hamper further investigation and recently, a trial court had refused to grant him bail after passing a very detailed order.
Shivinder Singh approached the Delhi High Court after the trial court on June 18 dismissed his bail plea on the ground that he utilised the proceeds of crime and various acts attributed to him regarding advancing unsecured loans to different entities have also come to the light during the investigation. The trial court had observed that the amount involved in this case was Rs 2,397 crore.
In the high court, Shivinder Singh's counsel has submitted that since the ED has filed its prosecution complaint/charge sheet in the case, no purpose would be achieved by the continued incarceration of his client. He has contended that all the evidence in the case was documentary in nature and there were no allegations of evidence tampering against him.
The counsel has told the court that co-accused Anil Saxena, who was arrested in the Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing case, was already granted bail by the Delhi High Court. Shivinder Singh was arrested in this case for the alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act last year.
The ED had in January this year filed a charge sheet against Singh brothers-Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, former promoters of Fortis Healthcare Ltd. and Religare Enterprises Ltd.-for misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest. Sunil Godhwani, former chairman and managing director of the firm, was also booked.
The investigating agency had told the trial court that there was enough evidence to initiate proceedings against the three accused under the PMLA. The accused are undergoing judicial custody in the case.
The trial court had noted that according to ED's reply, Shivinder Singh misused the facility of provision of home-cooked food and to meet his family members for half an hour every day. It had noted that he managed to get a mobile phone inside the jail premises. The court had noted that he used that mobile phone to talk and chat with his known persons and associates in the washroom.
"When the accused can indulge in such nefarious activities while being in custody, it will be reasonable to conclude that the accused, if released on bail, will try to tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses," the court has said in its order.
Delhi Police's EOW registered an FIR in March last year after it received a complaint from Religare Finvest's Manpreet Suri against Shivinder, Godhwani and others, alleging that loans were taken by them while managing the firm but the money was invested in other companies. ED lodged a money laundering case based on this.
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