RFL case: Shivinder sent to ED custody till Dec 19

RFL case: Shivinder sent to ED custody till Dec 19
NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Friday sent former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till December 19 in a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), saying custodial interrogation was required as the monetary transactions in question were voluminous in nature.

Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav sent Singh to ED remand after the agency sought his 14-day custodial interrogation.

"In the considered opinion of the court, interrogation of accused is required to ascertain money trail transaction as money transactions are voluminous in nature. There is a marked difference between interrogation of a person who has not been arrested and interrogation of a person who is in custody. In view of the facts and circumstances, accused Shivinder Singh is remanded to custody till December 19," the court said in its order.

Singh's brother Malvinder (46), also a former Fortis Healthcare promoter, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) Sunil Godhwani (58), 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 Enforcement Directorate had taken Shivinder into custody on December 12 from Tihar jail, where he had been lodged in the case filed by the 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.

During Friday's hearing, ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana told the court that Shivinder's custodial interrogation was required as he had given evasive answers to vital questions during his interrogation by the probe agency at Tihar jail on Thursday.

ED further said that remand was required as he needed to be confronted with electronic evidence and other documents to find details of the alleged money trail.

Shivinder's counsel Shri Singh opposed the ED's remand, saying he has fully cooperated in the probe so far and will do so in future too.

The lawyer further said the fact that Shivinder failed to give answers to the "liking" of the probe agency does not mean he is not cooperating.

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

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.