Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, the promoters of the Dewan Housing Finance Limited received a temporary reprieve after the Sessions Court in Mumbai ordered a stay on the non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued against them in the case registered by the CBI. On Wednesday, the 23 members of the Wadhawan family were released from the quarantine centre in Panchgani. The court has ruled that the Wadhawan brothers cannot leave the jurisdiction of Satara district until May 5 barring for a medical emergency in Mumbai.
Moreover, the CBI shall be intimated if they are permitted to visit Mumbai on the grounds of a medical emergency. The Wadhawans have also moved anticipatory bail pleas in the Enforcement Directorate's case against them. This petition is expected to be heard tomorrow in a special court. Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had written to the CBI and the ED regarding the completion of the Wadhawans' quarantine period.
The DHFL promoters are being probed in connection with the DHFL and Yes Bank cases. They had skipped the summons of the Enforcement Directorate on March 17 citing the COVID-19 pandemic. As per sources, the Wadhawans have been travelling to other cities since then. They reportedly proceeded for Mahabaleshwar after the owner of their rented property in Khandala asked them to leave. The local informants of the central investigative agencies learnt about the presence of the Wadhawans in Mahabaleshwar after their neighbours raised an alarm about movement in the locality despite the lockdown.
Subsequently, the 23 members of the Wadhawan family were detained and sent to a quarantine centre. They have been booked under sections 188, 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code besides relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and COVID-19 regulations. In a surprising turn of events, it emerged that the Wadhwans were able to reach Mahabaleshwar on producing a letter written by Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta.
The letter stated that the Wadhawans were his family friends and travelling for a 'medical emergency'. The Maharashtra Home Minister confirmed that Gupta had been sent on compulsory leave pending the outcome of the inquiry. Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik will investigate the bureaucrat's role in allowing the Wadhawans to travel and submit a report within 15 days' time.