HC declines to interfere with bail of an accused in RFL scam

New Delhi, Dec 4 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday declined to issue any direction modifying the interim bail granted to one of the five accused in a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds from Religare Finvest Ltd.

Justice Anu Malhotra declined to modify the interim bail granted to Anil Saxena, a former senior official of the company, to attend his niece' marriage ceremonies and disposed of RFL's plea challenging it.

The high court instead asked Saxena, represented by advocate Sakshi Agarwal, to surrender on December 10, when his interim bail expires.

It also directed him to appear before the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police on December 6, December 8 and December 9 at 6.30 pm.

RFL also challenged the interim bail granted to another accused, Kavi Arora, and the high court issued notice to Delhi Police asking it to file a status report by Thursday in the matter.

Saxena, on November 30, was granted interim bail by a sessions court to attend and participate in the ceremonies in connection with his niece' wedding on December 7.

Arora was granted interim bail by the same sessions court to take care of his ailing aunt and his relief expires on December 7.

RFL, which had lodged the complaint with EOW, alleged that the sessions court in question was granting interim bails to most of the accused in the case even though a metropolitan court had observed that there were serious charges against them.

The company said the interim bail orders did not indicate any application of mind and were of the same standard form.

It contended that in both instances, the regular bail plea of the accused was pending and instead of pressing that they have adopted a 'new modus operandi' to seek interim bail on 'humanitarian grounds'.

It claimed that the accused were influential persons and while on bail there was a possibility they could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.

The company said if the wedding of Saxena's niece was on December 7, then there was no need to grant bail till December 10 or in the alternative he should have been allowed to attend the ceremonies only in the custody of police officials.

The high court did not agree with the RFL's contention, saying 'there is not a whisper or a averment (in the petition) to indicate that respondent 2 (Saxena) has transgressed the bail conditions and tampered or influenced witnesses'.

After directing him to appear before the EOW on the three dates, the high court disposed of the petition against him.

Apart from Arora and Saxena, the other accused in the case are Sunil Godhwani -- former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) -- as well as Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder -- who were earlier promoters of REL.

According to the Enforcement Directorate, 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 agency started its investigation in the matter on the basis of a case lodged by the Delhi Police.

Malvinder, Shivinder, Godhwani, Arora and Saxena were arrested by EOW for allegedly diverting the money and investing in other companies.

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. PTI HMP SKV SA