High Court (India)

November 27, 2019

Delhi HC Sends Former Ranbaxy Promoter Malvinder Singh And Former CMD Sunil Godhwani To One-Day ED Custody


[ By Bobby Anthony ]

Malvinder-Singh-and-Sunil-Godhwani

The Delhi High Court has sent former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh and former CMD Sunil Godhwani to Enforcement Directorate custody in a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Limited (RFL).

Justice Chandra Shekhar while setting aside a trial court order sent the two to a one-day ED remand.

The Enforcement Directorate filed a plea challenging an order by Special CBI Court sending former Religare promoter Malvinder Singh and its former CMD Sunil Godhwani to judicial custody in relation to the Religare Finvest money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate's money laundering case against the two arises out of a first information report (FIR) registered by the Economic Offences Wing on a complaint by Religare Finvest.

Manpreet Suri of Religare Finvest had accused Malvinder Singh, his brother Shivinder Singh, Godhwani and others of siphoning off funds and misappropriation of funds to the tune of more than Rs 2,000 crore.

While all the accused in the Delhi Police case were in judicial custody, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Malvinder and Godhwani on November 14.

The Delhi High Court extended their custody with the Enforcement Directorate twice on November 15 and November 18 for three-days and five days, respectively.

However, on November 23, the CBI Court rejected Enforcement Directorate's plea for extension of custody and remanded the two in judicial custody till December 7.

Seeking a direction to set aside the order, the ED argued that in terms of Section 167 CrPC, the Agency was entitled to 15 days custody of the accused persons.

It was argued that although there was no change in circumstances, the CBI judge wrongly remanded the accused in judicial custody.

Acknowledging that investigation could be carried out in judicial custody as well, the Enforcement Directorate submitted that there were "practical difficulties" in the present case as it involved voluminous documents from the last 10 years that needed to be placed before the accused persons.

The Enforcement Directorate was represented by ASG Maninder Acharya, Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocate Nitesh Rana.

Earlier, a Saket Court had dismissed the bail applications filed by accused Shivinder Singh, Kavi Arora and Sunil Godhwani while on the other hand, Malvinder withdrew his bail plea.

“Looking at the gravity of the offence and the magnitude of public money involved and on the basis of the above discussions, I am not inclined to grant bail to the applicant or accused at this stage. Bail application is accordingly dismissed,” the court had ruled.

During the arguments on bail, senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta and Mohit Mathur appearing for complainant Religare said, “Loans were disbursed to shell companies known to promoters and the ultimate beneficiary was RHC. It has further been argued that Shivinder Mohan Singh was the 50% shareholder with RHC. It has been submitted that the report of RBI finds undue influence of the promoter group and that unsecured loans had been given to the shell entities for reason being known to the promoters”.

Gupta further alleged that Shivinder Mohan Singh had influence and control over the affairs of REL, RFL, RHC and other shell entities as well.

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