New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday granted the police four-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) and causing it losses of Rs 2,397 crore.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat allowed custodial interrogation of the five people arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police.
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.
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 the accused opposed the Delhi police plea and said their custody was not required as the evidence is documentary.
The counsel for Malvinder said in the court that he has joined the probe and answered all the questions for which his custody was not required.
Malvinder told the court that he has given an affidavit before the high court saying the money was not with him. Malvinder opposed the police plea claiming that he was being made a soft target, however, his brother Shivinder, representing himself, did not oppose the plea.
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 Manpreet Singh Suri of the RFL 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.
Delhi HC reserves order on bail
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Friday reserved order on whether to issue notice on Malvinder Singh's plea seeking quashing of an FIR against him that alleged misappropriation of the Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL) funds.
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.
Singh, in his plea in high court has contended that only the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, could have investigated the allegations of fraud and cheating against him.
The 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 SFIO was already investigating the matter on a complaint by 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.
The 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.
The 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.
(With inputs from PTI)