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SC dismisses interim bail plea of Shivinder Singh

Source: PTI
March 16, 2022 22:19 IST
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea for interim bail of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh who along with others is accused of misappropriating Rs 2,397 crore of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL) funds.

Singh had sought interim bail for a short period on “humanitarian grounds” for helping his ailing mother to take part in the last rituals of his maternal uncle, who died on March 8 in Haryana.

“We are of the opinion that the presence of the accused was not a must...,” said a bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna while dismissing the plea.

 

The bench heard the submissions of senior lawyer Gopal Jain, appearing for the jailed accused, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of Delhi Police, and senior advocate R Basant, representing the complainant in the case.

It took note of the seriousness of the crime in which Singh is facing the charges and the pendency of another case of money laundering in which he was accused of paying a bribe to the tune of Rs 200 crore to get bail.

At the outset, the senior lawyer representing Singh said that his mother had suffered a stroke and he be granted bail on humanitarian grounds to be with her mother in the last rites of her brother.

The solicitor general said that Singh is accused of a financial scam to the tune of Rs 2400 crore and he is a flight risk.

The law officer said that as per records, it seemed that Singh's mother suffered a stroke a few years ago and sought dismissal of the interim bail plea.

Earlier, the apex court had asked the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police to conclude a probe by December 15, last year in the case of misappropriating Rs 2,397 crore of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL) funds.

The police had said that the investigation was at an advanced stage and sought time by the end of this month to complete the probe.

In May, the Delhi high court cancelled Singh's bail, noting that his detention was necessary to unearth the conspiracy hatched by him" and trace the alleged siphoned off money.

The EOW recently said that it would need four more months to complete the probe in the fund embezzlement case.

"How much time should it take to complete the investigation? It cannot be an unending story," the bench had observed while asking the police to give a timeline for concluding the probe.

The counsel for Singh had said that he has been in jail for the last two years and his custody is not needed for the investigation as two charge sheets have already been filed.

The high court order, cancelling the bail, was passed on a plea by Religare challenging the March 3 order of the trial court granting bail to Singh in the case registered against him by the EOW under charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust.

Singh has moved the top court against the Delhi high court cancelling the bail granted to him by the trial court in the case.

The EOW registered an FIR in March 2019 after a complaint from Suri against Shivinder, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), Sunil Godhwani and former CEO of RFL Kavi Arora and others, alleging that loans were taken by them while managing the firm but the money was invested in other companies.

According to the prosecution, RFL's authorised representative Suri alleged that these accused put RFL in poor financial condition by disbursing loans to entities having no financial standing and wilfully defaulted on repayments, causing it a loss of Rs 2,397 crore.

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