Court gives cops 4-day cus­tody of former pro­mot­ers of Religare

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: Call­ing the of­fence “very se­ri­ous” in na­ture, a Delhi court on Fri­day granted po­lice four-day cus­tody of former Religare pro­mot­ers Malvin­der Singh, his brother Shivin­der and three oth­ers, ar­rested for al­legedly mis­ap­pro­pri­at­ing funds of Religare Fin­vest Ltd (RFL) and caus­ing it losses of Rs 2,397 crore.

“The of­fence is of very se­ri­ous na­ture in­volv­ing huge amounts of si­phoned money. Po­lice cus­tody is nec­es­sary to trace the trail of the cheated amount and find out the role of other peo­ple who might have par­tic­i­pated in the con­spir­acy,” said chief metropoli­tan mag­is­trate Deepak Sher­awat. Ap­pear­ing for RFL, se­nior ad­vo­cates Vikas Pahwa and Janakalyan Das as­sisted the Eco­nomic Of­fences Wing (EOW) and ar­gued that all ac­cused had “wil­fully” de­faulted in re­pay­ments.

It was al­leged that the ac­cused had left the com­pany in a poor fi­nan­cial con­di­tion by dis­burs­ing loans to com­pa­nies hav­ing no fi­nan­cial stand­ing, which were con­trolled by them. Po­lice high­lighted that dur­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, it re­ceived an RBI report stat­ing that share­hold­ing pat­tern of the pro­mot­ers showed that the com­pa­nies were re­lated en­ti­ties.

EOW said that loans were given on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the pro­mot­ers as the own­ers of the bor­row­ing en­ti­ties had good re­la­tions with them. “The foren­sic au­dit report ob­tained from

The of­fence was of very se­ri­ous na­ture in­volv­ing huge amounts of si­phoned money, the court said, adding po­lice cus­tody was nec­es­sary to trace the trail of the cheated amount

SEBI re­vealed that Rs 1,260 crore was di­verted to RHC Hold­ing Pvt Ltd, which has 100% share­hold­ing of pro­mot­ers Malvin­der and Shivin­der,” EOW added.

Though the re­mand was not con­tested by Shivin­der and the com­pany’s ex-CMD Su­nil God­hwani and former top ex­ec­u­tive Anil Saxena, Malvin­der and Kavi Arora, the former chair­man and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Religare En­ter­prises Ltd (REL), con­tended that the FIR was lodged in March and the ac­cused had co­op­er­ated in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Malvin­der’s coun­sel, Manu Sharma, ar­gued that his client had joined the EOW in­ves­ti­ga­tion and an­swered all the ques­tions for which his cus­tody was not re­quired.

Shivin­der, who was not rep­re­sented by any lawyer, told the court, “I’m a vic­tim of the fraud. I take this op­por­tu­nity to help the case.” Pahwa, on the other hand, ar­gued that civil pro­ceed­ings were com­pletely dif­fer­ent from crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “Cus­to­dial in­ter­ro­ga­tion is per­mis­si­ble af­ter ar­rest has been made. In cus­to­dial in­ter­ro­ga­tion, the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer is in a bet­ter po­si­tion to in­ter­ro­gate,” he added.

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