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Delhi court grants 4-day custodial interrogation of Singh brothers, 3 others in RFL case

twitter-logoPTI | October 11, 2019 | Updated 18:42 IST

(Eds: Updating with court order) New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) A Delhi court Friday granted the police 4-day custody of former Fortis Healthcare promoters Malvinder Singh, his brother Shivinder and three others, arrested for allegedly misappropriating funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), causing it losses of Rs 2,397 crore, saying the offence was of "very serious nature". Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat allowed custodial interrogation of the five people who were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police. "The offence is of very serious nature involving huge amount of siphoning of money," the court said. The judge said the police custody is necessary to "trace the trail of the cheated amount and find out the role of other persons who might have participated in the conspiracy and confrontation with the other officials of RFL and REL (Religare Enterprises Limited)". He added: "I am of the opinion that four days PC (police custody) remand of the accused persons is necessary at this stage. Hence, application of the investigating officer is allowed and accused persons be remanded to police custody for a period of four days and accused be produced on October 15." Malvinder (46) was arrested on Friday morning while Shivinder (44), Sunil Godhwani (58), the former chairman and managing director of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL), Kavi Arora (48) and Anil Saxena, who occupied important positions in REL and RFL, were arrested Thursday by the EOW for allegedly diverting the money and investing in other companies. Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for RFL's Manpreet Singh Suri, who filed the complaint in December last year, alleged that the case was a serious economic offence. Religare has accused them of diverting funds, claiming that loans were taken by Shivinder while managing the firm but the money was invested in other companies. The police sought the custodial interrogation of the accused saying it was necessary as they were allegedly involved in diversion of public money which needs to be tracked. It further said that a lot of people are involved in the alleged cheating and misappropriation of the fund. The police sought their custodial interrogation saying the accused have to be confronted with other officials to ascertain the role of co-conspirators and said that the money trail was to be found in the case which was at an initial stage of probe. The counsel representing Malvinder opposed the Delhi police plea and said his custody was not required as the evidence was documentary. The counsel told the court that the money was with Radha Soami head Gurinder Singh Dhillon but the police was not going after him since he had political connections and that Malvinder was being made a soft target. The lawyer said that Malvinder had joined the probe and answered all the questions and his custody was not required. He told the court that he has given an affidavit before the high court saying the money was not with him. However, his brother Shivinder, representing himself, did not oppose the plea. The police plea was also not opposed by Godhwani and Saxena. Shivinder told the court that he was himself a victim and was ready to help and cooperate in the investigation. RFL is a subsidiary of the REL. Malvinder and Shivinder were earlier the promoters of REL. The police had said that a look out circular (LOC)had been issued against Malvinder as he was absconding. He was detained on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday in Ludhiana and was formally arrested on Friday morning after he was brought here by the EOW team, Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) O P Mishra earlier told reporters. The EOW had registered an FIR in March after it received a complaint from 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. According to the police, the complainant stated that the four had absolute control on REL and its subsidiaries. "They put RFL in poor financial condition by disbursing loans to companies having no financial standing and being controlled by them. The companies to which loans were disbursed willfully defaulted in repayments and caused a loss to RFL to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore," Mishra alleged. PTI UK PKS SA

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