Ex-Fortis promoters Singh brothers seek interim bail

Police escort Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder Singh, former directors of Ranbaxy Laboratories, inside a court premises in New Delhi, India, October 11, 2019. REUTERS Photo

Former Fortis Healthcare promoters Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder, arrested for allegedly misappropriating funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), Friday sought interim bail from a Delhi court saying they wanted to settle the case with the complainant.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat took note of the submission and issued a production warrant for the accused persons for Tuesday.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for RFL's Manpreet Singh Suri who is the complainant, said he wanted the proposal in writing.

"If the proposal is suitable, we will not oppose the bail," Pahwa said.

The court posted the matter for hearing on October 22.

The court on Thursday had sent Singh brothers and other accused -- Sunil Godhwani, Kavi Arora and Anil Saxena -- to judicial custody till October 31.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police had told the court that the Singh brothers have disclosed that an amount of about Rs 1,000 crore has been transferred to various persons from the entities linked to corporate loan book which was then allegedly siphoned off.

The investigating officer of EOW, in the remand application, had sought custodial interrogation of the accused saying it was required to identify the persons to whom the alleged siphoned off money was transferred and to ascertain the purpose of creating the shell companies.

The police plea stated that custodial interrogation was required to confront the directors of the shell entities with the accused with respect to their association.

Counsel for Malvinder did not oppose the plea, saying investigation conducted so far has brought forth material which may also benefit the accused, adding that he already shown some links to the police with regard to where his money has gone.

Malvinder (46), Shivinder (44), Godhwani (58) and Arora (48) and Saxena, were arrested by the EOW for allegedly diverting the money and investing in other companies.

Suri's lawyer, who filed the complaint last December, had earlier 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 had said that 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 for Malvinder had earlier 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.

RFL is a subsidiary of the REL. Malvinder and Shivinder were earlier the promoters of REL.

The police had said that a lookout circular (LOC)had been issued against Malvinder as he was absconding.

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," police had alleged.

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