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The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police to give a timeline for completing its probe against former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh in a case of alleged misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest Ltd.

“How much time should it take to complete the investigation? It cannot be an unending story," observed a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana as it took a petition by Singh against cancellation of his bail in May.

Appearing for Singh, senior counsel Sidharth Luthra complained that his client has been made to suffer for the inability of the EOW in completing the probe. “I (Shivinder) have been in jail for 23 months. If the agency is dragging its feet and not filing its final chargesheet, how can I be at fault? After all, this is an offence with seven years in jail as the maximum punishment. Due to this continuous incarceration, I cannot defend myself," said Luthra.

Luthra said it was not a case where an accused was never considered entitled to bail but the high court had decided to cancel the relief even though there was no change in circumstances. At this point, senior advocate R. Basant appearing for Religare, pointed out that the case related to siphoning off of around 2,400 crore.

But the bench said that investigations must come to an end at some time and decided to issue a limited notice to Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing. “We are not passing any order at this stage. Let the agency come and tell us when they are going to complete the investigation," the bench told the counsel while adjourning the case by two weeks.

In May, the Delhi high court had cancelled Singh’s bail, noting that his detention was necessary to unearth the “conspiracy hatched by him" and trace the alleged siphoned off money. The order was passed on a plea by Religare challenging the 3 March order of the trial court granting bail to Singh in the case registered against him by the EOW under charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

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