Money & Banking

Delhi police slap FIR on Singh brothers over ₹723-cr loan from LVB

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on September 27, 2019

Shivinder Singh (left) and Malvinder Singh

A ₹723-crore loan by Laxmi Vilas Bank (LVB) to the brothers Shivinder and Malvinder Singh, the erstwhile promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis Group, is now being investigated by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi police.

The EOW on September 23 registered an FIR against key LVB directors for cheating, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, a copy of the complaint with BusinessLine showed.

The complaint was filed by Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), which said it felt cheated as the loan to the Singh brothers was given in a personal capacity by LVB based on company’s deposits with the bank.

RFL and Religare Enterprises had invested around ₹794 crore in fixed deposits with LVB in November 2016 and January 2017. LVB, in 2017, informed RFL that it had disbursed loans to RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd and Ranchem Pvt Ltd, the investment firms of the Singh brothers, against this FD.

The loan disbursement was contested by RFL in a strongly worded legal notice, a copy of which is with BusinessLine, through its law firm.

Religare ‘shocked’

“RFL was shocked to receive a statement of current account on July 31, 2017, provided only on RFL’s request, the review of which showed that its FDs had purportedly liquidated prior to their schedule date of maturity and an aggregate amount of ₹768 crore being the proceeds of the FDs were credited in a current account where after a sum of ₹723 crore were unilaterally and illegally debited by the bank from RFL’s current account without RFL’s instruction, knowledge, consent or approval,” said the notice addressed to Parthasarathi Mukherjee, MD and CEO of LVB.

LVB’s legal head Ravindra Kumar replied: “We are in the process of collecting all information relating to the matter and we shall be sending suitable reply within 10 days from the date of receipt of the mail. We also inform you to advise your clients not to further precipitate the matter in the meantime.”

Laxmi Vilas Bank said in a statement, "RFL has filed a suit against the Bank in May, 2018 in high court and the same is being defended appropriately by the bank and no adverse order has been passed yet. RFL had also filed an interim application in the suit claiming attachment of the assets of the bank, its employees, directors etc. The hearing in the case slated for yesterday has been adjourned to 30th October 2019. Now, as a desperate measure, RFL has filed a complaint with EOW. Mere registration of FIR does not mean anything, at this stage. The Bank is committed to cooperate with investigations to bring out malicious attempts of RFL to mislead public to coverup massive fraud indulged by their own promoters/employees/group companies.”

Published on September 27, 2019

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