Thanks to commenters on this blog who shared links to these stories, here's additional reporting in the Indian financial press about the financial fraud saga involving the Singh brothers and their cousin, Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB).
Neither story appears to be good news for Dhillon and his family.
They've been ordered to submit income tax returns, bank statements, and balance sheets related to financial transactions that, according to the High Court of Delhi, concern money owed to Malvinder Singh and public companies once controlled by him.
This seems to show that authorities view it as likely that the Dhillon family does owe money that needs to be repaid, perhaps on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. The RSSB guru has claimed that he doesn't owe anything. That's possible, but unlikely.
The other story speaks of emails "connected with proceeds of crime" that are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate. Since Malvinder Singh has accused the RSSB guru and his close associate, Sunil Godhwani, of criminal fraud in siphoning off money into shell companies controlled by the Dhillons, tracking who ended up with the money obviously is key to that criminal complaint.
Defenders of the guru claim that Malvinder Singh is the person who orchestrated the massive financial fraud. This makes little sense, though.
Why would Malvinder set up a complex maze of financial transactions through many shell companies if his goal was to steal money from the companies he once controlled? And why would Malvinder want the Dhillon family to be directors of the shell companies?
Further, if Malvinder committed financial fraud, why would he make a criminal complaint last February against Dhillon, his family, and Godhwani? The complaint would draw attention to Malvinder by legal authorities, which seemingly isn't what someone engaged in financial fraud would want.
Here's the Business Today story.
Delhi high court Saturday ordered the RSSB chief Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family members to submit their income proofs as part of Daiichi Sankyo case proceedings. The court asked the family to furnish their income tax returns, bank statements and balance sheets before the court within four weeks
"The garnishees who are disputing the liability of judgment debtors shall file the Income Tax Returns, bank statements and balance sheets for the relevant year to show how they have reflected the relevant transaction in their income tax return," the court order said.
"The judgment debtors shall also file the Income Tax Returns, bank statements and balance sheets for the relevant year to show the transaction between the judgment debtors or their related companies and garnishees. These documents be filed within a period of four weeks," it added.
Meanwhile, Saket Court Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav rejected further enforcement directorate (ED) custodial interrogations of former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh and former Religare Chairman Sunil Godhwani. Malvinder and Godhwani will be sent to judicial custody and the concerned order is awaited on the same.
Malvinder and Sunil Godhwani are presently in the custody of the ED for interrogation in a money laundering case lodged by the agency in relation to the alleged misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL).
In February this year, Malvinder had filed a complaint in his personal capacity with Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing claiming that his brother and other accused had colluded to cheat him.
Malvinder had named Shivinder, Dhillon, his wife Shabnam Dhillon, sons Gurpreet and Gurkirat, daughter-in-law Nayantara Dhillon, Sunil Godhwani and his brother Sanjay Godhwani, and others in his complaint. He had blamed the accused of wrongly taking control and misappropriating funds of RHC Holding Pvt Ltd, the holding company of the Religare group.
In his complaint, Malvinder had blamed Shivinder of siphoning off funds "with the ulterior motive of gaining ultimate control of the seat of spiritual head of the RSSB which has been promised to him by Dhillon in lieu of this financial gain to himself".
Malvinder had also stated that Shivinder had "unilaterally signed a purported "family settlement" with Dhillon agreeing to absolve him of all wrongdoing whatsoever and agreeing that no liabilities or legal proceedings or criminality would be attributable to Dhillon". He further said that Dhillon had been "threatening him from time to time to sign the same settlement".
A Delhi court today disposed of a plea to extend custodial interrogation for ex promoter of Ranbaxy Malvinder Singh filed by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).
The court after considering “rival contentions” and having gone through the application and status report, opined that further custodian interrogation is neither “required” nor “warranted”.
The ED had filed an application in a Delhi court seeking five days further custody of Singh, in a money laundering case lodged by the ED in relation to an alleged misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL). The ED told that court that new facts have emerged after interrogation and during the course of interrogation emails dump of accused and other key management persons have been received which are “voluminous” and are under investigation.
The ED also told the court the e-mails have data connected with proceeds of crime and that Singh is required to be confronted with the e-mails. It further pointed that during their course of investigation, it has summoned two directors of companies “where proceeds of crime” has been transferred. “Three people have been called to join investigation who are required to be confronted with accused persons. It is therefore submitted that further custodian interrogation of the accused is required,” the ED said in its plea.
Manu Sharma, the counsel for Singh vehemently opposed the extension of the custody, submitting that the laptop of Singh was seized in August and there was no justification as to why he was not confronted with those emails earlier. While the ED said that these are fresh emails recovered on November 15, the court while rejecting the plea, remanded Singh to judicial custody till December 7.
The Enforcement agency, on November 14, had arrested Malvinder over charges of misappropriation of funds in RFL.
Malvinder and his brother Shivinder Mohan Singh, the erstwhile promoters of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), are facing charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. EOW had picked up the two and ex CMD of REL Sunil Godhwani last month.
The case was registered on the complaint of a senior Religare manager. It was alleged that the company and its subsidiary RFL were cheated and properties worth “hundreds of crores have been misappropriated, siphoned off and diverted through a labyrinth of financial transactions”. The Singh brothers had, in collusion with the co-accused, “orchestrated the financial scam in or around 2016”, the complaint said.