Mumbai: Court extends protection from arrest to Wadhawans till Monday

Mumbai: A lockdown court assigned to hear urgent matters under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Thursday extended protection from arrest to Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoters of Dewan Housing and Finance Limited (DHFL) in the Yes Bank scam.

The duo had moved court on Wednesday in the afternoon at 2:45 PM for anticipatory bail fearing arrest by the central agencies as their quarantine period had come to an end at 1.47 PM that day.

23 members of the Wadhawan family had been put under institutional quarantine on April 9 in a school in Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar after they were found violating the lockdown by travelling to the hill station.

Their 14-day quarantine ended on April 22, the state’s home minister Anil Deshmukh had tweeted around 10 AM on Wednesday that their quarantine period was ending and the Satara police has requested the CBI or ED to take their custody till 2 PM, and if they do not, then they will be in police custody till the agencies arrive.

The anticipatory bail plea was filed by the brothers in the sessions court. They cited the Home Minister's tweet and sought interim protection from arrest. The ED, which was to reply to the plea said that the tweet was not made by it. The court had granted protection from arrest till Thursday and sought a formal reply from the agency then.

On Thursday, the ED filed its reply and the Wadhawan’s advocate sought an adjournment to file a rejoinder to it. The court adjourned the matter to Monday. The pre-arrest bail plea too will be heard the same day.

Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan are accused in the Yes bank scam where the bank is alleged to have made Rs.3,700 crore of investments in DHFL, of which Kapil and Dheeraj are promoters, in return for kickbacks of Rs. 600 crore to its founder and former MD and CEO of the bank Rana Kapoor.

The brothers had allegedly avoided multiple summons by the agencies to join the probe in the case by citing the pandemic situation. A CBI court had issued a Non-Bailable Warrant against the duo on April 17, which was stayed the next day till May 5. The court had however directed them not to leave Satara district till May 5 without permission of the District Collector. After being released from quarantine on Wednesday, they have been asked to stay at their farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar from where they had been detained.

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