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HC reserves order on whether to issue notice on Malvinder Singh's plea to quash FIR in RFL case

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 11, 2019  | 16:32 IST

(Eds: Adding background) New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Friday reserved order on whether to issue notice on former Fortis Healthcare promoter Malvinder Singh's plea seeking quashing of an FIR against him that alleged misappropriation of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL) funds, causing Rs 2,397 crore in losses. Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved order on the plea after hearing substantial arguments on Singh, Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police and RFL. Singh had approached the high court Thursday, hours before his arrest. Meanwhile, a Delhi court Friday granted the police four-day custody of Malvinder, his brother Shivinder and three others, arrested for alleged misappropriation of funds in the case. Singh, in his plea in high court has contended that only the SFIO, which comes under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, could have investigated the allegations of fraud and cheating against him. EOW and RFL questioned maintainability of the petition, while Singh urged the court to issue notice in the matter and also stay the proceedings initiated by the police. Singh has argued in his plea that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) was already investigating the matter on a complaint by Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) and therefore, EOW "could not have jumped the gun". He contended that SFIO initiated investigation on February 17, 2018 on the direction of the ministry. EOW opposed the contentions and argued that SFIO was only given the mandate to investigate REL and Fortis Healthcare and a fresh notification would have to be issued by the Centre to allow it to probe RFL. EOW on March 27 lodged an FIR against Singh and others under sections 420, 409 and 120B of the IPC on a complaint by Manpreet Singh Suri of RFL. The police formally arrested him early Friday morning after detaining him at Ludhiana, Punjab, on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday. The others named in the FIR are Malvinder's brother Shivinder, Sunil Godhwani (58), the former chairman and managing director of REL, Kavi Arora (48) and Anil Saxena, who occupied important positions in REL and RFL. All of them have already been arrested by the EOW for allegedly diverting money from RFL and investing in other companies. RFL is a subsidiary of REL. Malvinder (46) and Shivinder (44) were earlier the promoters of REL. A lookout circular had been issued against Malvinder as he was absconding. PTI HMP SKV LLP SA

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