‘Flight Risk’: SC refuses to entertain Shivinder Mohan Singh’s temporary bail plea

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a plea by former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh seeking temporary bail to visit his ailing mother.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench, headed by Justice M.R. Shah that Singh, the accused in the Religare Finvest money-laundering case, is a flight risk.

Counsel representing Singh submitted before the bench, also comprising Justice B.V. Nagarathna that it is a humanitarian plea since his client’s uncle passed away and his mother was also not keeping well.

Opposing Singh’s plea for temporary bail, Mehta said: “He is accused of liabilities which are Rs 2,400 crore. He is a flight risk.” He added that there appears to be something suspicious here and the court should not be swayed by the humanitarian grounds.

The bench agreed with Mehta’s submissions that Singh is a flight risk. “In terms of serious allegations, it seems that if the petitioner is released on interim bail, he may be a flight risk,” it said.

The bench noted that relief had been granted earlier to Singh on account of death of someone. After hearing arguments, the bench said: “the application for interim bail stands rejected.”

In December last year, the Supreme Court had said it expects a fair investigation and investigating agencies should be neutral, as it asked Delhi Police to conclude the probe, by December 15, in a case against Singh.

The Delhi High Court had cancelled Singh’s bail, noting that his detention was necessary to unearth the “conspiracy hatched by him” and trace the alleged siphoned off money.

Singh had moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order, which came on Religare Finvest Ltd plea challenging the trial court order passed on March 3, 2021 granting bail to him in the case registered against him by the Delhi Police’s EOW for cheating, criminal conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust.

In March 2019, the EOW had registered an FIR after it received a complaint from RFL’s Manpreet Suri against Singh, former CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd Sunil Godhwani and former CEO Kavi Arora and others. It was alleged that loans were taken by them while managing the firm, but the money was invested in other companies.

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