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Religare ex-promoters Malvinder & Shivinder Singh sent to police custody for 4 days

Calling himself a “victim” Shivinder Singh did not oppose the remand and said that he would “cooperate with the investigative agencies”.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 07.01 AM IST
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While the Delhi Police on Thursday arrested Shivinder and Godhwani, Malvinder was later detained from Ludhiana and arrested early in the morning on Friday.
NEW DELHI: Former Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh along with three others were remanded to four-day police custody on charges of fund diversion and fraud pegged at about Rs 2,400 crore.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police had arrested the Singhs along with former REL chairman and managing director Sunil Godhwani, ex-Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL) CEO Kavi Arora and former REL CFO Anil Saxena after a complaint by RFL, the lending arm of REL. All five were produced in a court in Saket on Friday afternoon.

The police investigative agency sought judicial remand for six days for “sustained interrogation,” to find the trail of “cheated money and to ascertain the utilisation of the borrower money as well as ascertain the role of various officials involved in the disbursement of loans to various entities under corporate loan book (CLB),” according to the court order, which ET has seen.

Police custody is also required to ascertain the role of co-conspirators, it said. The EOW alleged that the accused “wilfully defaulted in repayments and caused wrongful loss to RFL to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore,” in its application filed in the court on Friday. It also said that the funds were diverted to promoter related companies.

The judge said the offence was of a “serious nature involving huge amount of siphoning of money”. Four days of custody were needed to trace the “cheated amount and find out the role of other persons who might have participated in the conspiracy,” and to confront them “with the other officials of RFL and REL,” the judge said. The accused will be produced in court on October 15.

Shivinder Singh said he was a “victim” and did not oppose remand. He said he would “cooperate with the investigative agencies”.

Malvinder Singh’s lawyer said that the investigative agency should recover the money from the head of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Gurinder Singh Dhillon. He cited a September 27 Delhi High Court order that directed Dhillon, along with 55 other entities, to deposit money owed to REL within 30 days to the registrar of the court.

“My client has joined the investigation twice in the past,” the lawyer said. “He was in Ludhiana for his daughter’s treatment and was arrested yesterday (Thursday) late night. I don’t understand why the agency has jumped the gun when the high court order is clear.”

Malvinder Singh also moved the Delhi High Court, seeking quashing of the first information report (FIR). In his plea, he said the EOW doesn’t have the jurisdiction to register an FIR or conduct an investigation. Singh contended that only the Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO), which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, could have investigated the allegations of fraud and cheating. The order was reserved.

According to the FIR filed by the EOW, internal inquiries showed that the poor condition of the complainant company was to a large extent on account of wilful defaults on significant unsecured loans, defined for internal purposes as CLBs by borrower entities either related, controlled or associated with the promoters.

Opposing police remand, the lawyer representing Arora applied for bail and said he was not involved in any of the transactions and was just a professional who left the company. He had been out of the system in 2017. “The CLBs were managed and run by the promoters,” he said. “Kavi did nothing... This is a serious misuse of power by the investigation officer (IO). The entire money trail is documentary and there is nothing that he should be remanded for.”

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