On Friday, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam called for an impartial probe into the Wadhawans' visit to Mahabaleshwar in violation of the COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. Claiming that the ED had offered a long rope to DHFL promoters Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan, he observed that someone within the system was helping them evade the legal proceedings. Thereafter, Nirupam clarified that he mainly suspected ruling politicians in Maharashtra to have influenced Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta in allowing the Wadhawans to travel. At the same time, he added that a thorough investigation was necessary owing to the close contact between the Wadhawans and some BJP leaders. Congress is a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
Wadhawan brothers are main accused in ₹30000 cr #DHFLScam. ED hs bn investigating the matter slowly. #ED took long time to arrest them.Then they were released on bail immediately. Looked like someone helping them from within the system.— Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) April 10, 2020
And now they are allowed to go for picnic. pic.twitter.com/rHER7Njvhz
Somebody must have influenced Mr Gupta to do this stupidity.— Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) April 10, 2020
Primarily & practically I suspect ruling politicians.But the fact is Wadhawan brothers are very close to some BJP leaders also. Financial transactions b/w them can be found out easily. So,an impartial probe is required. https://t.co/5o7ObqGBw2
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. Both the CBI and ED have requested the authorities to not allow the DHFL promoters to leave after the completion of the quarantine period as there were non-bailable warrants pending against them.
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'. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh 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.