NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has directed former Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) CMD Sunil Godhwani, who was on interim bail since September 25, to surrender before Tihar jail authorities within two days in a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), failing which he faces arrest.
The court was hearing a plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking issuance of arrest warrants against Godhwani and for direction to surrender as he failed to do so on the given date, which was November 12.
Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav said in case Godwani does not surrender in terms of the court's order, the investigating officer should arrest him and hand him over to the Tihar Jail Superintendent concerned.
"The application filed by Directorate of Enforcement is allowed and non-applicant Sunil Godwani is directed to surrender before concerned Jail Superintendent, Tihar within two days of passing of this order.
In case, non-applicant Sunil Godwani does not surrender in terms of this order, investigating officer shall arrest non-applicant and hand him over to concerned Jail Superintendent, Tihar.
"On non-applicant having surrendered before concerned Superintendent, Tihar Jail or on being produced by Investigating Officer, concerned Jail Superintendent shall accept the surrender or production of non-applicant," the court said in its order passed on December 4.
According to the ED application, Godhwani was granted interim bail for three weeks in September on account of his father-in-law's death.
The interim bail was extended for 10 days on October 15 and Godhwani was to surrender before the jail authorities on October 26.
Godhwani filed an application on the strength of the Delhi High Court's order passed on October 20, which stated that all undertrials whose interim bail period was extended during the COVID-19 lockdown have to surrender in a phased manner between November 2 and November 13, the application said.
It further said that the trial court had on October 29 directed the accused to surrender on November 12 but he failed to do so on the specific date.
The application further noted that the Supreme Court had on October 29 stayed the high court's October 20 order.
ED's Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana claimed that Godhwani was taking advantage of both the high court's and the apex court's orders and he cannot swing both ways.
The public prosecutor further stated that the order of the trial court by which he was directed to surrender on November 12 was not stayed and hence he was duty bound to follow the order.
Advocate Rajat Katyal, appearing for Godhwani, opposed ED's application saying the top court had issued notice in the matter for November 26 and hence his interim bail automatically stood extended till then.
On non-applicant having surrendered before concerned Superintendent, Tihar Jail or on being produced by Investigating Officer, concerned Jail Superintendent shall accept the surrender or production of non-applicant.
Former Fortis Healthcare promoters Malvinder Singh, his brother Shivinder Singh, Godhwani and others were arrested in a case by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police last year, for allegedly diverting Religare Finvest Ltd's money and investing in other companies.
The EOW registered an FIR in March last year after it received a complaint from RFL's Manpreet Suri against Shivinder, Godhwani and others, alleging that loans were taken by them while managing the firm but the money was invested in other companies.
ED lodged a money laundering case based on this.
RFL is a group firm of REL, which was earlier promoted by Malvinder and his brother Shivinder.