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HC sends Malvinder, Sunil Godhwani to one-day ED custody

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Malvinder Singh Sunil Godhwani

New Delhi, Nov 27 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sent former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh and former CMD Sunil Godhwani to Enforcement Directorate custody till Thursday 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 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.

Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering case against the two arises out of an 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 funds and misappropriation of funds to the tune of over 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 Court extended their custody with the Enforcement Directorate twice on November 15 and November 18 for three day and five days, respectively, the Court of Special CBI Judge Sandeep Yadav.

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.

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

Meanwhile on Monday, a Saket Court 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/accused at this stage. Bail application is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

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 Shivender Mohan Singh was the 50% share holder 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 Shivender Mohan Singh had influence and control over the affairs of REL, RFL, RHC and other shell entities, also.

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FM Sitharaman may push for Rs 30K cr interim dividend from RBI to meet low revenue generation, slowdown

The government is fighting a six year low growth, subdued demand and consumption leading to projections of 5 per cent growth in current fiscal which is an 11 year drop.

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Nirmala Sitharaman
RBI governor Shaktikanta Das and FM Nirmala Sitharaman RBI governor Shaktikanta Das and FM Nirmala Sitharaman and at the post-Budget meeting (Picture Credit DNA)

The Finance Ministry is likely to push for Rs 25,000-30,000 crore interim dividend from RBI, for the third time in a row, to check slippages in the fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent in 2019-20.

The central bank and government may touch upon the issue when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das at post Budget Vision customary meeting.

Government has a Budget estimate of Rs 90,000 crore dividend from RBI in FY20. RBI follows a fiscal of July-June. The interim dividend of the RBI’s total dividend for 2019-20 (July-June) can help the government check 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target slippage.

In the past RBI has paid a total Rs 38,000 crore as interim dividend (Rs 28,000 crore in FY19 and Rs 10,000 crore in FY18).

“If the RBI board recommends, then it will be the third time when interim payout will be given to the government,” said sources.

The central bank had paid Rs 28,000 crore as interim dividend from its 2018-19 fiscal accounts (July-June) in February, which helped the government contain deficit at 3.4 per cent in the last fiscal.

The Reserve Bank follows July-June financial year and usually distributes the dividend in August after annual accounts are finalised and interim dividends if any, they are given around February to the government.

Seeking interim dividends are not common. The Bimal Jalan-led committee on the RBI’s economic capital framework recommended in August that an interim dividend should be paid to the government only in “exceptional circumstances”.

The Finance Ministry’s contention is that this year has “exceptional circumstances” because of the slowdown, low revenue generation and outgo of Rs 1.45 lakh crore due to corporate tax cuts.

For 2018-19 (July-June), the RBI transferred a total of Rs 1.76 trillion to the central government, including a one-time transfer of Rs 52,637 crore which was deemed as excess reserves and comprising Rs 1,23,414 crore of surplus for the year 2018-19.

The government is fighting a six year low growth, subdued demand and consumption leading to projections of 5 per cent growth in current fiscal which is an 11 year drop.

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed India’s FY20 growth forecast to 4.8 per cent, besides trimming global outlook and said India’s slow growth is dragging down the world economy.

The Finance Ministry might seek the interim dividend from the RBI to meet some of the financial pressure due to the low revenue generation from taxes and disinvestment and slowdown, said the sources.

The RBI largely earns profits on its trading of currencies and government bonds. Part of these earnings are set aside by the RBI for its operational and contingency needs while the rest is transferred to the government in the form of dividends.

The Union Budget 2019-20 had pegged dividend or surplus of the RBI, nationalised banks and financial institutions at Rs 1.06 lakh crore up from Rs 74,140.37 crore realised in the previous fiscal.

(Anjana Das can be contacted at [email protected])

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Sensex down 90 pts, Nifty below 12,200

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Sensex equity Nifty

Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex opened lower on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed India’s 2019 growth estimates to 4.8 per cent from 6.1 per cent.

IMF cited a sharper-than-expected slowdown in local demand and stress in the non-bank financial sector.

Sensex opened at 41,487.57, lower from its Monday’s close of 41,528.91.

At 9.37 a.m., Sensex was down 91.54 points at 41,437.37 while the broader Nifty was trading 25.90 points lower at 12,198.65.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was down 1 per cent after it declared its corporate results. The private lender reported weak set of results with loan growth continuing to be subdued and rising NPAs.

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Rahul raps Modi over wealth holding of India’s richest 1%

“Modi extracts wealth from poor & gives it to his crony capitalist friends & the big power brokers he’s dependent on. 1% of India’s super rich, now own 4 times more wealth than 1 Billion of India’s poor,”

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Rahul Gandhi

New Jan 20 : Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the reports that India’s richest 1 per cent owned more than 4 times the wealth of 953 million people, who make up for the bottom 70 per cent of the population.

The total wealth of all Indian billionaires is more than the full-year budget.

“Modi extracts wealth from poor & gives it to his crony capitalist friends & the big power brokers he’s dependent on. 1% of India’s super rich, now own 4 times more wealth than 1 Billion of India’s poor,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress leaders have been attacking the Prime Minister for his proximity to the industrialists.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged last week that the government was favouring Adani JV with HSL in awarding the Rs 45,000 crore contract for building six diesel-powered submarines, despite the company having no experience in submarine building.

“The government is flouting norms and the defence procurement procedure 2016 in awarding contract to the Adani HSL JV for building submarines, and promoting crony capitalism,” he said.

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