New Delhi, August 1: The Supreme Court, while agreeing to hear the appeal, has ordered “status quo” in the plea challenging the bail granted by Delhi high court to former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh. The bail was granted in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL).

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has challenged the July 23 order of the Delhi high court that had granted conditional bail to Singh and asked him to furnish a personal bond of ₹1 crore with two sureties of ₹25 lakh from two family members, Livemint reported.

On July 31, the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra held, “status quo with respect to release from jail be maintained and impugned Judgment not to be treated as a precedent for any other case.”

The bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, further issued notice and ordered for the reply to be filed before the next date of hearing.

The case is listed for hearing in the next week.

As per the high court order, Singh has been directed to not leave the country without permission of the designated/special court and shall cooperate in any further investigation, as and when required. 

Further, the high court has specifically directed that he shall also not, whether directly or indirectly, contact or visit or have any transaction with any of the officials/employees of the banks, financial institutions, entities, etc, who are concerned with the complaint in this case, whether in India or abroad.

ED has also been directed to issue written intimation to such officials/employees to not engage in any manner with the applicant.

Though granted bail, Shivinder would not be able to come out of Tihar jail as he is still under judicial custody for another case by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

The court order reads that the essence of the ED’s allegation is that between 2008 and 2016, RFL extended loan and other financial facilities to various entities to the tune of about ₹47,000 crores, of which a sum of around ₹2,036.39 crores went into default, and the allegation is that this amount was given by RFL to entities which were, directly or indirectly, owned or controlled by the applicant, or in which the applicant otherwise had financial interest, including companies linked to RHC.

The probe agency had opposed the Singh’ bail plea on the grounds related to tampering of evidence, flight risk and influence of witnesses.

The Singh brothers were arrested in October along with former Godhwani and two other people, for allegedly causing loss worth ₹2,397 crore to RFL. The complaint was filed by Religare Enterprises and its arm in 2018. The brothers were promoters of Religare Enterprises and hospital operator Fortis Healthcare till February 2018. 

Godhwani was CMD of Religare Enterprises till 2016.

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