Court grants bail to Shivinder Singh in bank fraud case

It is alleged that Singh brothers in connivance with the employees of Lakshmi Vilas Bank misappropriated two FDs of Rs 400 crore and Rs 350 crore made with the Lakshmi Vilas Bank by the complainant company.

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In the instant case, the EOW strongly opposed Shivinder’s bail on the ground that if enlarged on bail, Shivinder can inference witnesses and tamper with evidence and bail application is strongly opposed on this ground.
A local Court today granted bail to Shivinder Mohan Singh, erstwhile promoter of Religare Enterprises in a bank fraud case.

In a scathing judgment, the Court has slammed the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Delhi Police for “discriminatory approach in the investigation”. The Court has pulled up the EOW for adopting a “pick and choose policy” in arresting the accused involved in the case.

The Court has expressed shock over non arrest of any bank official by the EOW.


“Surprisingly, none of the officials of LVB (Lakshmi Vilas Bank) who was involved in the decision making process at the relevant time have been arrested for the reasons best known to the IO. The explanation offered by the IO for not arresting the officials of LVB that no evidence has surfaced indicating that bank officials were illegally benefited failed to convince the court”.

The judgment reads “this only shows that investigation was not conducted in a proper manner. In the absence of any evidence of pecuniary gain to LVB, how will the prosecution substantiate the allegation of conspiracy. Leave alone the bank officials, even other persons arrayed as accused in the chargesheet viz. Sunil Godhwani and Hemant Dhingra have not been arrested. It is a settled law that an investigating agency cannot adopt a pick and choose policy in the matter of arrest”.

It adds “such discriminatory approach in the investigation exposes the investigation to the allegation of taint and bias”.
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Granting bail to Shivinder, the Court held that the entire evidence is documentary in nature which has already been seized. Therefore, there is no apprehension that the accused if released on bail will tamper with evidence.

The Court recorded “prosecution has not placed any material before this court to show that the accused can tamper with evidence or influence any witness. Neither the investigating officer nor the complainant could provide any solid reason for keeping the applicant/accused in custody any further”.

In a significant direction, the Court has directed the investigating officer to issue a request to the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs to forthwith open Look Out Circular (LoC) in Shivinder’s name to prevent him from leaving the country without permission of trial court.

Although granted bail, Shivinder will not walk free from Tihar jail as his bail in another case opposed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) is hanging fire in the Supreme Court.
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In the instant case, the EOW strongly opposed Shivinder’s bail on the ground that if enlarged on bail, Shivinder can inference witnesses and tamper with evidence and bail application is strongly opposed on this ground.

Both Shivinder and his elder brother Malvinder Mohan Singh were arrested by the EOW last December in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL).
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It is alleged that Singh brothers in connivance with the employees of Lakshmi Vilas Bank misappropriated two FDs of Rs 400 crore and Rs 350 crore made with the Lakshmi Vilas Bank by the complainant company.

The investigation in the case, filed in September, revealed that the duo misappropriated the amount by availing loan from the bank against these FDs in RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd company they owned and further squaring off their abilities. The EOW further alleged that Malvinder and Shivinder systematically siphoned off and diverted public money in a clandestine manner for their own benefit.\
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