Former Fortis Promoter to Stay in ED Custody Till 26 Dec: Court

ED’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana said the accused also needed to be confronted with digital evidence.

3 min read
Former promoter of pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy, Shivinder Singh, to remain in ED custody till 26 Dec

A Delhi court on 19 December extended the ED custody of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh till 26 December in a money laundering case related to the alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL).

Additional sessions judge Sandeep Yadav extended Shivinder's custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after it had sought seven-day custodial interrogation.

The probe agency had sought seven day’s remand of Shivinder saying he needed to be confronted with some shell companies’ directors who have been summoned by the probe agency.

During the hearing, ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana said the accused also needed to be confronted with digital evidence.

Nine Summoned, Seven Appeared For Money Trial

"During the last six days of the accused's custody, nine persons were summoned out of whom seven appeared.” Their statements have been recorded. There are material disclosures against the accused.

Four more persons have been summoned, who are directors of shell companies through which money was laundered. They will be coming to the ED’s office within the next few days.

"The accused needs to confronted with the summoned persons. There are also digital and other evidence with which he needs to be confronted with to find details of the alleged money trail. Hence, we need more time for his custodial interrogation," the counsel argued.

‘Shivinder Will Cooperate in Future Too’

To this, advocate Shri Singh, appearing for Shivinder, said if the ED was seeking more time for custodial interrogation because they need to confront him with other witnesses and documents, they would not oppose it but the ground should not be that he was not cooperating in the investigation.

"If ED's grounds are that some witnesses have been summoned and Shivinder needs to be confronted with them, we will not oppose it. But they should not say that he is giving evasive answers and not cooperating in the probe. He has cooperated fully previously and is ready to do so in the future too," the lawyer said.

ED Took Shivinder In Custody On 12 December From Tihar

Singh's brother Malvinder, 46, also a former Fortis Healthcare promoter and Sunil Godhwani, 58, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) and other accused Kavi Arora (48) and Anil Saxena were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police for allegedly diverting RFL's money and investing it in other companies.

The ED had taken Shivinder into custody on 12 December from Tihar jail, where he had been lodged in the case filed by Delhi Police in relation to the alleged scam.

The court had earlier rejected his bail plea in the case registered by the EOW, saying there was every likelihood of his fleeing from justice and hampering the trial.

The probe agency had earlier arrested Malvinder and Godhwani in the case.

Rafale Faced a Loss of Rs 2,397 Crore

The ED had alleged that both the brothers, along with others, transferred an amount of about Rs 1,000 crore to various persons from entities linked to the corporate loan book and finally, the money was siphoned off.

The EOW registered an FIR in March 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.

"They put RFL in a poor financial condition by disbursing loans to companies with no financial standing and controlled by them. The companies to which the loans were disbursed willfully defaulted in repayments and caused a loss to RFL to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore," the police had alleged.

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