The Maharashtra government told the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday that they can arrest the scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Limited’s promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan as their coronavirus quarantine has come to an end, PTI reported. The Wadhawan brothers are accused of fraud in cases pertaining to Yes Bank and DHFL.
Earlier this month, the Wadhawans were caught violating the coronavirus lockdown in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Home Department Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta had issued a special pass to the Wadhawans to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for a “family emergency”.
The police had found 23 people at their farmhouse, including family members. The brothers and their family members were then shifted to a quarantine facility in Panchgani.
“Because of the mistake of a senior official of ours, the Wadhawan family was granted permission to travel to Mahabaleshwar during the lockdown period,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said, according to the news agency. “The quarantine period of the Wadhawan family ends at 2 pm today [Wednesday]. Hence, we wrote a letter to the ED director and CBI on Tuesday they should take their custody after the quarantine period ends.” Deshmukh also shared a letter written by the Satara police to the CBI.
Despite the national lockdown to combat coronavirus, the Wadhawans had managed to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar. Their domestic staff had also travelled with them.
The incident had triggered a political blame game in Maharashtra. The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party had lashed out at the Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government for allowing the rich and the powerful to flout lockdown norms.
In March, the Central Bureau of Investigation had issued a lookout circular against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and his family, who are accused of receiving Rs 600 crore in kickbacks from DHFL. The investigative agency had also issues circulars against the Wadhawan brothers.
According to the case filed by the agency, Yes Bank invested around Rs 3,700 crore in DHFL around the same time it granted a Rs 600-crore loan to a company called DoIT Urban Ventures Private Limited, owned by Rana Kapoor’s three daughters. The CBI has alleged that Kapoor, in criminal conspiracy with Kapil Wadhawan and others, had invested in DHFL through Yes Bank to gain undue benefits for himself and his family. The agency also said that Yes Bank sanctioned a loan of Rs 750 crore to RKW Developers Private Limited, which is a DHFL group company.
In March, the Wadhawans had skipped summons by the Enforcement Directorate for the third time in the money laundering investigation against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and others, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. The brothers had claimed that their health was more important than the summons.