Sat, 25 Mar 2023

New Delhi [India], January 4 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has 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.

The Bench of Justice Anish Dayal on Friday while extending the interim bail till March 27 noted that the medical reports were earlier verified when his previous grant to interim bail was extended till the next date of hearing on the same terms and conditions as imposed by the trial court Judge and further subject to the condition that the moment the petitioner is about to get discharged from the hospital, he will duly inform the investigation officer.

The court noted that the petitioner Ajay Ramesh Nawandar is allegedly suffering from "Potts Spine" and has been admitted to Leelawati Hospital in Mumbai.

Needless to say that the petitioner will not tamper with the evidence of the case nor shall influence the prosecution witnesses, directly or indirectly and any such information will be seen adversely by this Court with regard to his petition for bail, said the court.

According to the bail plea, the applicant is severely ill suffering from various medical ailments and is in fragile health. The applicant has thus to undergo various surgeries and thus craves to be enlarged on bail.

Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa along with Advocate Hemant Shah, appearing for Ajay R Nawandar, submitted that the applicant was arrested in the aforesaid matter as two paintings recovered from his premises belonged to the promoters of DHFL. However, the applicant had already stated earlier that the same did not belong to him and he was merely a custodian.

The lawyers further 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 are made out against the applicant.

It was also stated that none of the ingredients as registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (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 suffice 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," it said.

Earlier the trial 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 and 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, a large number of uber-luxury watches worth crores of rupees, including Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Cartier, Omega and Hublot Michael Kors were recovered.

During the investigation, it was also found that the promoters had allegedly diverted the funds and made investments in various entities. It has also been alleged that the promoters had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about Rs 55 Crore (approximately) 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 against them on a complaint from Union Bank of India, Industrial Finance Branch, Mumbai against a private (Borrower) company based in Mumbai, its then Chief Managing Director (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 or 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 and 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 organisations 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. (ANI)

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