‘Accused can’t be kept in jail without trial’: SC on probe into siphoning of RFL funds

Singh had moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order passed on June 14, which cancelled the bail granted to him by the trial court.
Shivinder Mohan Singh
Shivinder Mohan Singh, Malvinder Mohan Singh,

New Delhi, Sep 4 : The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Delhi Police on how long would it take to complete the probe involving former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh, who is accused of allegedly misappropriating about Rs 2,400 crore from Religare Finvest Ltd funds.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, representing Singh, submitted his client has been in jail for nearly two years, since October 2019, and the charges have not framed so far.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana observed: “How much time does it take to complete the probe in a criminal case? The accused cannot be kept in jail without trial.”

As the complainant’s counsel argued that Singh is accused of siphoning of over Rs 2,000 crore, Luthra contested this line of argument by saying that accused in the 2G scam case were granted bail by the top court.

Initially, the bench noted that charges were grave and asked Singh to wait before pressing for bail. However, Luthra argued that other accused, who are traceable, have not been arrested. He emphasised it has been said that investigation is still going on.

After hearing arguments, the top court issued notice to Delhi Police.

“Issue notice to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi to respond and inform as to how much time it will take in conducting the investigation,” it said.

Singh had moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order passed on June 14, which cancelled the bail granted to him by the trial court.

The high court order had come on RFL’s plea challenging the trial court order passed on March 3, granting bail to Shivinder Mohan Singh in the case registered against him by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing for cheating, criminal conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust.

It had noted that in the present case, the “nature and gravity of the accusation against respondent No 2 (Shivinder Mohan Singh) is serious”.

In March 2019, the EOW had registered an FIR after it received a complaint from RFL’s Manpreet Suri against Shivinder Mohan Singh, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd Sunil Godhwani and former CEO Kavi Arora and others. It was alleged that loans were taken by them while managing the firm, but the money was invested in other companies.

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