New Delhi [India]: A Delhi Court on Wednesday extended the interim bail granted to businessman Ajay Ramesh Nawandar, arrested in connection with an alleged bank fraud of Rs 34,615 crore by Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) on medical grounds.
Special Judge Vishal Gogne extended the interim bail till October 19, 2022, and said the court finds no reason to conclude that either the submissions or the medical records are contrived and non-genuine. Nawandar recently had moved a regular bail plea in the matter and the same court on the last date had sought a response from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The court, however, noted that an application for statutory bail has also been moved today and said the prayers for regular bail and statutory bail shall be heard together on the next date of hearing.
The court would observe that the documents on the record reflect that upon discharge of the accused on a surgical procedure being performed on September 17, 2022, he was further recommended for admission qua another surgical hemorrhoidectomy and spine surgery. The documents filed today procedure i.e. stapled indicate that the accused is presently admitted also on account of emergent breathlessness, said Special Judge Vishal Gogne.
According to the bail plea, the applicant is severely ill suffering from various medical ailments and is in the worst of his fragile health. The Applicant has thus to undergo various surgeries and thus craves to be enlarged on bail.
Advocate Hemant Shah appeared for Ajay R Nawandar and submitted that the applicant was arrested in the aforesaid matter on the premise that 2 paintings have been recovered from the premise of the applicant which belonged to the Promoters of DHFL however the applicant had already stated earlier that the same did not belong to the applicant and he was merely a custodian.
Advocate Shah also submitted that the applicant was never associated with DHFL or its erstwhile promoters and had no connection with them and none of the offences being investigated is made out against the applicant.
The lawyer also stated that none of the ingredients as registered by CBI are not even remotely made out against the applicant and prior to the arrest of the applicant, he has rendered full cooperation during the investigation. Without prejudice, it is sufficient to mention that it is the case of the investigating agency that some recoveries have been affected at the instance of the applicant but not from him.
Earlier the same court had dismissed the regular bail petition of the accused and said that the offences are economic in nature but on account of the investigation into the present offences being intricate, the accused prima facie being complicit at some stage of the handling/diversion of the humongous funds originating from the loans, a strong likelihood of him tampering with evidence and the foreseeable possibility of him influencing witnesses if admitted to bail.
According to the CBI, during the searches at Nawandar’s premises, it recovered a large number of uber-luxury watches worth crores of rupees, including Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Cartier, Omega and Hublot Michael Kors.
During the investigation, it was found that the promoters had allegedly diverted the funds and made investments in various entities. It was also alleged that the promoters had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about Rs. 55 Crore (approx.) using the diverted funds, said CBI officials.
The Promoters of DHFL, Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Rajesh Wadhawan were also arrested by the CBI and are presently in Judicial custody.
A case was registered on a complaint from Union Bank of India, Industrial Finance Branch, Mumbai against a private (Borrower) company based at Mumbai, its then CMD, then Director and others including a private person, private companies, unknown public servant(s) and private persons on the allegations that the accused cheated a consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India to the tune of over Rs. 34,615 crore (approx.) by siphoning off loans availed from the banks and falsifying the books of said private (Borrower) company and creating Shell Companies/false entities, which had come to be known as “Bandra Book Entities”.
It was alleged that the said private company and its promoters had created a number of shell companies & fictitious entities (the Bandra Book entities) and siphoned off huge funds by disbursing funds to such fictitious entities.
It was further alleged that separate audits conducted by other private audit accounting organizations had identified multiple instances of diversion of funds by the accused for personal benefits and falsification of books of accounts to camouflage and conceal dubious transactions.
The audits also identified several instances where large-value loans were provided to such fictitious entities without due diligence and without securities. Instances of sanction and disbursement of loans, merely by e-mail communications were allegedly found for which no loan files were maintained in the said private (Borrower) company.