The Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with a trial court order granting interim bail for two weeks to businessman Ajay Ramesh Nawandar, arrested in a Rs 34,615 crore bank fraud case involving Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), on account of his medical condition and permitted him to travel to Mumbai for his treatment.
Observing that there was no ground to interfere with the order, Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain noted that the documents showed that Nawandar was receiving treatment from a hospital in Mumbai and thus allowed him to travel there for three days with prior intimation to the investigating officer.
The court added that the investigating officer shall be at liberty to keep a vigil on the accused during his stay in Mumbai.
The documents submitted by the counsel for the respondent reflect that the respondent is getting treatment from Leelavati Hospital, Mumbai. Accordingly, the respondent is also permitted to go to Mumbai for his medical treatment for three days with prior intimation to the concerned Investigating Officer.
“The Investigating Officer is also directed that during the period of stay of the respondent for his medical treatment at Mumbai, the investigating officer shall be at liberty to keep a vigil on the respondent at Mumbai. There is no ground to interfere in the order dated August 31, 2022, passed by the court below, the court stated in its order dated September 5.
While assailing the trial court order, CBI argued that every possible treatment which may be required by the accused is available in Delhi.
The accused was represented through senior advocate Vikas Pahwa.
On August 31, Special Judge Vishal Gogne granted interim relief to the accused, saying “The detention of an accused, regardless of the gravity of an offence, cannot operate to the detriment of his basic human right and free agency in determining the nature and locus of medical care, especially when a grave risk to life and limb is more than a reasonable prospect .
The trial court had subsequently directed Nawandar not to leave Delhi during the period of his interim release.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had earlier conducted searches at Nawandar’s premises and recovered a large collection of uber-luxury watches worth crores of rupees, including Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Cartier, Omega, and Hublot, and two paintings worth Rs 33 crore, officials said.
The agency claimed the items belonged to former DHFL CMD Kapil Wadhawan and ex-director of the company Dheeraj Wadhawan, who allegedly defrauded banks to the tune of Rs 34,615 crore, making it the biggest bank loan fraud case probed by the agency.
These items were allegedly purchased using the proceeds of the scam and kept at Nawandar’s premises to evade recovery and seizure by enforcement agencies, officials said.
The CBI had alleged that Nawandar was acting as a conspirator aiding and abetting the Dewans to hide the proceeds of the crime and was in the process to dispose of these items when he was arrested by the agency.
The CBI registered the case on June 20 on a complaint from the Union Bank of India (UBI), the leader of a 17-member lender consortium that extended credit facilities to DHFL to the tune of Rs 42,871 crore between 2010 and 2018.
The bank has alleged that Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, in a criminal conspiracy with others, misrepresented and concealed facts, committed a criminal breach of trust, and abused public funds to cheat the consortium to the tune of Rs 34,615 crore by defaulting on loan repayments from May 2019 onwards, the CBI said.
An audit of DHFL’s account books showed the company allegedly committed financial irregularities, diverted funds, fabricated books, and round-tripped funds to “create assets for Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan”, using public money, it said.