New Delhi, Aug 25 : The bail application of erstwhile Religare promoter, Malvinder Mohan Singh was rejected on Tuesday in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
The District and Sessions Judge, Sandeep Yadav, South East District in the Saket Courts rejected the bail plea.
“Keeping in view the severity of offence and magnitude of amount involved, possibility of witnesses being influenced by the accused and
other relevant factors as discussed above in this order, it is concluded that accused Malvinder Mohan Singh is not entitled to bail.
“Accordingly, the application filed by accused Malvinder Mohan Singh for grant of bail is dismissed,” the court said.
The court observed that the investigation conducted in this case concluded that various companies whose directors or office bearers
were persons related to or associated with applicant/accused were granted loans by Religare Finvest Limited (RFL) on the instructions of
accused Malvinder Mohan Singh.
“It is therefore, obvious that allegations against accused Malvinder Mohan Singh have been substantiated by cogent evidence collected
during investigation. It has been found during investigation that entities either owned or associated with accused Malvinder Mohan Singh
were involved in systematic placement/layering acquisition and projection of proceed of crime as untainted over long period”, the court said.
The court while deciding the bail application of co-accused Shivinder Mohan Singh also noted the fact that the amount involved in the present
case is huge i.e. Rs 2397 crores.
“It has been held in catina of judgments that economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with different approach in the matter of bail. This court further held that economic
offences having deep rooted conspiracies and involving loss of public funds need to be viewed seriously and considered as grave offences
affecting the economy of the country as a whole and thereby causing threat to the financial health of the country”, the court said.
As regards the severity of the offence, it was observed by this court that the sentence which may follow the conviction, will not be the sole criteria to determine the gravity of the offence. In economic offences it is the magnitude of the offence which will determine the severity of the offence.
As regards the amount allegedly recoverable by RHC Holdings from REL and its subsidiaries, it is to be noted that although documents are stated to have been furnished by the accused to the investigating officer in scheduled offence but the result of investigation on these documents is not before the court. Therefore, it cannot be concluded at this stage that any amount is recoverable by RHC Holdings from REL, the court observed.
At the stage of bail, the accused cannot contend that the amount advanced as loan was returned by RHC holdings to fourteen companies which are not owned by the applicant/accused.
Applicant/accused will have to prove that these fourteen companies are not owned by him during trial and the plea contending that amount has been returned to fourteen companies will not dilute the prima-facie offence of cheating at this stage.
“Coming to the question as to whether any offence of cheating was found to have been committed in the investigation or not, Religare Enterprises Limited (REL) was clearly cheated as loans were extended by Malvinder Mohan Singh to the companies/entities controlled by friends/relatives/family members of applicant/accused and other accused persons”, it said.
Public shareholders were cheated as public shareholding in REL is about 49 per cent and REL was holding approximately about 99 per cent shareholdings in RFL, the judgement said while ruling on the bail application.