A Delhi court Thursday dismissed the bail plea of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL). Additional Sessions Judge Gulshan Kumar said there was every likelihood of Singh fleeing from justice and hampering the trial.
Singh's brother Malvinder (46), also a former Fortis Healthcare promoter, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) Sunil Godhwani (58), Kavi Arora (48) and Anil Saxena were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police for allegedly diverting RFL's money and investing in other companies.
Since the investigation was at a crucial stage, custodial interrogation was still required in the case, the court said.
"In the present matter, undoubtedly a huge amount of Rs 2,400 crores has been involved. Accused (Shivinder) in connivance with other co-accused persons disbursed the loans to the entities having no financial standing. The investigation in the present case is at a crucial stage and custodial interrogation is still required in the present matter and there is possibility of accused influencing the witnesses or tampering with evidence.
"Hence, keeping in view the facts of the matter, considering the seriousness and gravity of the offences, there being every likelihood of the accused Shivinder Singh fleeing from justice or hammering the trial, I find it expedient in the interest of Justice, not to enlarge him on bail," the Judge said.
The court also extended till December 23 the judicial custody of Malvinder and Godhwani in a separate money laundering case related to the misappropriated funds scam.
The EOW had earlier opposed Shivinder's bail plea and said the allegations against him were serious in nature and he had disbursed loan to shell entities related to him and he was director of some of these firms.
"It was a fraud of large magnitude where public money has been swindled in conspiracy with official of the company and promoters," they had claimed.
They had further said that since the investigation was still going on in the case, he can influence the witnesses and tamper with evidence if he is out on bail.
Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, appearing for the complainant RFL, had told the court that the loans were disbursed to shell companies known to the promoters and the ultimate beneficiary was RHC Holding company, of which Shivinder was a shareholder.
He had further claimed that unsecured loans had been given to shell entities without any due diligence as they were known to the promoters.
Gupta had alleged that documents showed the involvement of Shivinder in disbursal of unsecured loans to the shell companies which were further diverted to other companies and other co-accused Malvinder resulting in huge amount of public money being mis-appropriated.
Shivinder's counsel had told the court that he has been falsely implicated in the case and he had fully cooperated during the investigation and provided all required information and documents.
"He has been arrayed as an accused by virtue of him being an erstwhile promoter of RFL, a position he inherited by virtue of his birth in the Singh family. He was never involved in day-to-day affairs or running of the company," the lawyer had claimed.
The Enforcement Directorate had taken both into custody on November 14 from Tihar jail, where they had been lodged in the case filed by the Delhi Police in relation to the alleged scam.
ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana had earlier told the court that both the brothers, along with others, transferred an amount of about Rs 1,000 crore to various persons from entities linked to the corporate loan book and finally, the money was siphoned off.
Advocate A R Aditya, representing the ED, said that Malvinder and Godhwani have been accused of laundering money, punishable under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
RFL is a group firm of REL, which was earlier promoted by Malvinder and his brother Shivinder.