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The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a plea by the Enforcement Directorate challenging an order by a Special CBI Court which had sent former Religare promoter Malvinder Singh and former CMD Sunil Godhwani to judicial custody in relation to the Religare Finvest money laundering case.
Notice was issued to Malvinder Singh and Sunil Godhwani by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Chander Shekhar.
The Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering case against the two arises out an FIR registered by the Economic Offences Wing on a complaint by Religare Finvest.
Manpreet Suri of Religare Finvest had accused Malvinder Singh, his brother Shivinder Singh, Godhwani and others of siphoning off funds and misappropriation of funds to the tune of over Rs 2,000 crore.
While all the accused in the Delhi Police case were in judicial custody, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Malvinder and Godhwani on November 14.
The Court of Special CBI Judge Sandeep Yadav extended their custody with the Enforcement Directorate twice on November 15 and November 18, for three days and five days respectively.
However, on November 23, the CBI Court rejected the ED’s plea for extension of custody and remanded the two to judicial custody till December 7.
Seeking a direction to set aside the order, the ED argued that in terms of Section 167 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), the agency was entitled to 15 days’ custody of the accused persons.
It was argued that although there was no change in circumstances, the CBI judge wrongly remanded the accused to judicial custody.
Acknowledging that the investigation could be carried out in judicial custody as well, the ED submitted that there were “practical difficulties” in the present case, as it involved voluminous documents from the last 10 years that needed to be placed before the accused persons.
The ED also stated that it had already summoned two witnesses who were to be confronted with the accused.
In view of the above, the agency sought a direction extending the custody of the accused persons with it till November 28.
After briefly hearing the counsel for the Agency, the Court issued notice to the accused persons.
The matter will be heard next on November 26.
Enforcement Directorate was represented by ASG Maninder Acharya, Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocate Nitesh Rana.