The Supreme Court on Thursday took the Delhi Police to task for delaying the timeline of the probe in the case relating to former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh who is accused of misappropriating Rs 2,397 crore of Religare Finvest Ltd funds. The court was hearing a bail plea by the accused. “The probe cannot go on indefinitely,” the court said after the police’s submission that the investigation was not complete. “It has been two years. So should we allow him to be there for 10 years?” the court said.
The court has directed the Delhi Police to wrap up the investigation by November end. Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj, appearing for the prosecution, had stated that the police would be able to complete the investigation by January end.
The matter was before a bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice Hima Kohli. The next hearing of the case has been set for the first week of December.
Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) had sought four more months to complete the probe in the fund embezzlement case. The court had said earlier as well that the probe can’t be “unending”. The CJI had orally observed that the government was “taking too much interest” in the case.
Mr Singh is facing charges in a money laundering case related to the alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Limited (RFL). The Delhi High Court had refused him interim bail; he had then moved the SC against the HC order.
The EOW of Delhi Police registered an FIR in March 2019 after it received a complaint from RFL’s Manpreet Suri against Mr Singh, 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. Charges included cheating, criminal conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust.
The police had alleged that Mr Singh, in connivance with other co-accused, created the corporate loan book for utilizing the funds of the company for their personal benefits, and the corporate loan policy was not followed by the sanctioning authority.