A lower court on Friday sent former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, former managing director of Religare Enterprises (REL) Sunil Godhwani, and two other key executives of REL, Kavi Arora and Anil Saxena, to four days in custody of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police.
The court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat allowed custodial interrogation of the five accused of alleged misappropriating funds of Religare Finvest (RFL), causing it a loss of Rs 2,397 crore.
In its order granting custody, the court said it was “necessary to trace the trail of the cheated amount and find out the role of other persons who might have participated in the conspiracy”. They will be produced before the court again on October 15.
Shivinder, Godhwani, Arora and Saxena were arrested late on Thursday afternoon, while Malvinder was arrested late night from Ludhiana, following a complaint filed by RFL.
In its complaint with the EOW, RFL had alleged that the Singh brothers and others had cheated the company, and its parent REL, through misappropriation, siphoning and diversion of funds through a labyrinth of financial transactions.
Following RFL’s complaint in December last year, the EOW had summoned Malvinder, Shivinder, Godhwani, Arora, and Saxena on multiple occasions. The EOW then filed an FIR in the case in March this year.
During the hearing in lower court on Friday, the counsel for Malvinder, while opposing the police custody, said that he had co-operated with the EOW whenever they had called him for interrogation. Claiming that his presence was not necessary as all the evidence in the alleged fraud case was documentary and based on bank statements, the counsel for the elder Singh sibling said that he had given a sworn affidavit to the high court clearing that the money was not with him.
Malvinder’s advocate also told the lower 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. The counsel for Arora also opposed the EOW’s demand for custody, the counsels for Godhwani and Saxena did not oppose the same.
The younger Singh sibling pulled a shocker by telling the court that he had not hired any lawyer as he wanted to represent himself. Shivinder said that he himself was a victim of the fraud perpetuated at REL, and that he was ready to cooperate with the EOW in any way possible. He also did not oppose the police custody.
Earlier in the day, Malvinder had moved the Delhi High Court (HC) seeking quashing of the FIR filed by the EOW claiming that only the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which comes under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, could have investigated the allegations of fraud and cheating against him for now.
In his plea before the HC, Malvinder has said that since the SFIO was already investigating the issue of diversion of funds on a complaint by REL, the EOW should not have “jumped the gun” and started a parallel probe. The EOW on the other hand contended that SFIO’s mandate was only to investigate REL and Fortis, and not RFL. After hearing extensive arguments from both the sides, the court reserved its order on whether to issue notice to the EoW on Malvinder Mohan Singh’s plea.
A lower court on Friday sent former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, and others to four days in custody of the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police. Photo: Dalip KumarDo not owe money to Singhs: Radha Soami chief to Delhi HC
In a related hearing, the head of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family members on Friday approached the Delhi HC claiming that they do not owe any monies to the Singh brothers. The Dhillons filed the application after the Delhi HC asked them to deposit the amounts they owed to RHC Holdings’ Singh brothers. On September 27, the HC had asked all the 55 garnishees, who allegedly owe money to the Singh brothers, to deposit the funds with the registry within 30 days.
A garnishee order is issued against a third party for the recovery of debt or dues. These garnishees, along with Malvinder Mohan Singh, RHC Holdings and Oscar Investments have to be before it on November 14, the next date of hearing, the court said.