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Former Fortis Healthcare Promoter Shivinder Singh
Former Fortis Healthcare Promoter Shivinder Singh

Religare Finvest case: Delhi HC grants bail to Shivinder Singh

  • The HC has imposed certain bail conditions that include no foreign travel, furnishing personal bail bond of 1 crore and two sureties by family members of 25 lakh each

NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted regular bail to former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh in connection to a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Limited.

The court has imposed a slew of conditions on him while granting him bail. He has to furnish a personal bond in the sum of 1 Crore with two sureties of 25 lakhs from two family members.

He has been directed to not leave the country without permission of the Designated/Special Court and shall reside in his place of residence as per prison records and he shall cooperate in any further investigation, as and when required.

“...The applicant shall not tamper with evidence nor otherwise indulge in any act or omission that is unlawful or that would prejudice the proceedings in the matter." The court order also added.

The court has further specifically directed that he shall also not, whether directly or indirectly, contact or visit or have any transaction with any of the officials/employees of the banks, financial institutions, entities etc. who are concerned with the complaint in this case, whether in India or abroad.

ED has also been directed to issue written intimation to such officials/employees to not engage in any manner with the applicant.

The court among other many conditions has directed the IO to issue a request to the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India or other appropriate authority to forthwith open a ‘Look-out-Circular’ in his name, to prevent the applicant from leaving the country, without the permission of the designated court.

The court has clarified that nothing in the judgment has to be taken as an expression of opinion on the merits of the pending complaint. It is also clarified that the observations in this judgment shall have no bearing on the cases against other accused persons, which cases shall be considered on their own merits.

Though granted bail, Shivinder wont be able to come out of Tihar jail as he is still under judicial custody for another case by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

The court order reads that the essence of the ED’s allegation is that between 2008 and 2016, RFL extended loan and other financial facilities to various entities to the tune of about 47,000 crores, of which a sum of around 2036.39 crores went into default, and the allegation is that this amount was given by RFL to entities which were, directly or indirectly, owned or controlled by the applicant, or in which the applicant otherwise had financial interest, including companies linked to RHC.

ED’s contention was that out of the said sum of about INR 2036 crores, investigation is complete in relation to about INR 450 crores, while investigation into the remaining amount is still going on.

The probe agency had opposed the Singh' bail plea on the grounds related to tampering of evidence, flight risk and influence of witnesses.

On the other hand, Senior advocate N. Hariharan had opposed the argument by stating that the evidence has been recorded and the prosecution complaint has been submitted by the agency so his client should not be incarcerated any further.

He had argued that allegations against him are at best allegations of vicarious liability, arising merely from his being a promoter of REL.

“There are only general allegations of the applicant being a conspirator, without any evidence being placed on record to even prima facie suggest any such conspiracy; that other things apart, investigation vis-a-vis the applicant stands completed; the complaint stands filed; and therefore further judicial custody of the applicant is neither required nor warranted." He had said.

ED had filed a chargesheet in January against former Fortis Healthcare promoters Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Singh, and also former CMD of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL) Sunil Godhwani in the money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at RFL.

He had approached the high court after a trial court on 18 June dismissed his bail plea on the ground that the accused had utilised the proceeds of crime and that various acts attributed to him regarding the advancement of unsecured loans to different entities have also come to the light during the investigation.

The Singh brothers were arrested in October along with former Godhwani and two other people, for allegedly causing loss worth 2,397 crore to Religare Finvest Limited. The complaint was filed by Religare Enterprises and its arm in 2018. The brothers were promoters of Religare Enterprises and hospital operator Fortis Healthcare till February 2018. Godhwani was CMD of Religare Enterprises till 2016.

PTI contributed to this story

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