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DHFL promoters cite health reasons for travel to Mahabaleshwar

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 12, 2020

The Wadhawan brothers, along with family, were detained for violating lockdown rules

Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), who were detained in Mahabaleshwar for violating the nationwide lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday said that they had been travelling due to health reasons.

In a statement issued on behalf of the Wadhawan brothers, legal firm Rashmikant and Partners said that the circumstances that necessitated their travel were bonafide and genuine concern for the health of their family members due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The police found the two men along with 21 other family members at their farmhouse, according to media reports.

 

The Wadhawans had travelled to Mahabaleshwar on the morning of April 9. The police were informed by the locals who came to know that the group had travelled to the farmhouse from Mumbai.

The statement issued by the law firm said: “They had been reading in the newspapers about the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Mumbai. They also heard that there were possible coronavirus cases in Khandala. They were in Khandala along with their mother, aged 70 years, who has a multitude of health problems, and their respective wives and children. Kapil Wadhawan suffers from high blood pressure and had recently been hospitalised in JJ Hospital. Dheeraj Wadhawan is also a heart patient and had undergone an emergency angioplasty in Switzerland in January 2018, and was once again hospitalized between October 8, 2019 to November 5, 2019 for a severe lung infection, for which he also had to spend several days in the ICU, to the knowledge of ED.”

“Considering the circumstances, the Wadhawans thought it fit to travel further away from Khandala and Mumbai and thus decided to go to their ancestral residence in Mahabaleshwar. They obtained official permission to do so. The only reason for their travel was thus to protect themselves and their family,” it added.

Full cooperation

“It was on their arrival at their ancestral residence in Mahabaleshwar, that they were informed by the local authorities to self quarantine at their residence for 14 days. They were thereafter requested to move to a private quarantine facility at Panchgani. They have fully cooperated with the authorities in this regard and are presently at the private quarantine facility at Panchgani,” the statement said.

The law firm also dismissed news articles and reports that suggest that the Wadhawan brothers are not co-operating with the investigation being carried out by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation, and absconding and flouting the rules of the lockdown imposed in the country due to the spread of coronavirus. “None of their actions have been taken to defeat the law. If they were absconders from the law they would hardly have disclosed their whereabouts to seek permission to go from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar. The suggestion is false and absurd,” the statement said.

A complaint has been made against the family under IPC 188, 269 and 270.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had said that an investigation would be conducted as to how the family had managed to travel to Mahabaleshwar in the first place.

Published on April 12, 2020

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