Delhi High Court grants bail to Malvinder Mohan Singh & three others in 2019 Religare Fund Diversion Case

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The court said that no possible prejudice could be caused to the prosecution’s case before the trial court if Singh was released on bail with necessary conditions, especially when other co-accused persons had been granted bail.


The Delhi High Court on Friday last week granted bail to the former promoter of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL) Malvinder Mohan Singh, the then Chairman-cum-MD of REL Sunil Godhwani, another former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of RFL Kavi Arora, and one Rajender Aggarwal in a case lodged by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police for alleged misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL).

After an examination of various judgments on the point of bail, the bench of Justice Amit Sharma said, “…that gravity of an offence would be a factor at the time of consideration for the grant of bail, but, at the same time, it cannot be the only criteria for denying bail either. As laid down in the aforesaid precedents, the object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative and the same is to secure the presence of the accused at the trial”.

“The underlying principle… who otherwise has roots in the society and is satisfying the other general conditions for grant of bail should, after completion of the investigation, not be kept in continued judicial incarceration as a matter of punishment, even before the conclusion of trial”, the court added.

It was alleged that Singh, in conspiracy with Shivinder Mohan Singh and Sunil Godhwani, caused RFL to give unsecured loans to the tune of Rs. 2,397 crores on a non-arms length basis and without proper documentation, to shell companies related to them and these entities, willfully defaulted in making the repayments.

Thereafter, on a complaint by Manpreet Singh Suri the authorized representative of Religare Finvest Limited, an FIR was registered on March 27, 2019, under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 409 ((criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code at Economic Offences Wing, Police Station.

The single-judge bench opined that no possible prejudice could be caused to the case of the prosecution before the trial court if the applicants were released on bail with necessary conditions, safeguarding the interests of the prosecution, especially when other co-accused persons had also been granted bail.  

The court also noted that the “investigation in the matter was complete” and the main chargesheet and supplementary chargesheets had been filed before the trial court. It also noted that the evidence in the matter was “primarily”, “documentary in nature” and all material documents had been recovered and were in the custody of the prosecution.

“In view of the law laid down in the judicial precedents cited hereinabove and in view of the facts and circumstances of the present case, the present application is allowed”, the court ordered.

Justice Sharma granted bail to Singh, Godhwani, Arora, and Aggarwal after furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 10 Lakh each with two sureties of the like amount, subject to certain conditions. Some of the conditions imposed are:

  • The applicants shall not leave India without the prior permission of the Trial Court.
  • The applicants are directed to give all their mobile numbers to the Investigating Officer and keep them operational at all times.
  • The applicants shall not, directly or indirectly, tamper with evidence or try to influence the witness in any manner.

Case Title: Malvinder Mohan Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi; Sunil Naraindas Godhwani v. State (NCT of Delhi); Kavi Arora v. State & Rajendra Aggarwal v. State & Anr.