Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court
File Photo

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted bail to former CEO of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL) Maninder Singh in a case related to alleged siphoning of money to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore from Religare Finvest Limited (RFL).

Justice Yogesh Khanna granted bail to the accused on a personal bond of Rs one lakh with surety of like amount and imposed various conditions on him. The court directed the accused to not leave the national capital without prior permission of it and not contact any employee of REL, RFL or any of the Religare group of companies.

Singh was arrested on October 27, 2020 for allegedly conspiring with other accused persons and swindling Rs 2,397 crore, thereby causing wrongful loss to complainant Religare Finvest limited (RFL) and wrongful gain to themselves.

Former Fortis Healthcare promoters Malvinder Mohan Singh and his brother Shivinder Mohan Singh, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL) Sunil Godhwani and former CEO of RFL Kavi Arora were arrested in the case in 2019, for allegedly diverting RFL's money and investing in other companies.

RFL is a group firm of REL, which was earlier promoted by Malvinder and Shivinder.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police registered an FIR in March 2019 after it received a complaint from RFL's Manpreet 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. ED lodged a money laundering case based on this.

According to the prosecution, RFL's authorised representative Manpreet Suri alleged that these accused put RFL in poor financial condition by disbursing loans to entities having no financial standings and willfully defaulted in repayments thereby caused wrongful loss to RFL to the tune of Rs 2,397 crores. The prosecution also said that out of the loans disbursed to 19 entities, accused Maninder Singh was involved in sanctioning and disbursal of loan to 13 entities along with Kavi Arora worth Rs 850 Crores. It was also alleged "public money" had been swindled with the conspiracy of officials of the company and promoters. During the course of proceedings on Maninder's bail application, Additional Public Prosecutor Amit Ahlawat told the court that the main charge sheet in the case has been filed, further investigation is being carried out and if the accused is released on bail he can influence the witnesses and can temper with the evidence. Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, who represented the accused, apprised the court that his client was not a beneficiary to even a single penny and whatever was done appears to be at the instance of beneficiaries Shivinder Mohan Singh and Malvinder Mohan Singh, who have since been granted bail.

The counsel said that the investigating authority did not arrest members of other instrumental committees, namely the Related Party Transaction Committee, which used to recommend the sanctioning of loans. Requesting court to grant bail, Advocate Mir said that there is no allegation against Singh of tampering with evidence or influencing of witnesses and that the perusal of charge sheet shows the entire trail of money stands investigated.

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