Billionaire brothers Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan are finishing their quarantine today, the Maharashtra government said, asking the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to take them into custody. The two promoters of the scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), under investigation for fraud and money-laundering charges, will remain in the state police's custody until the agencies take over, said a top minister.
The Wadhawans were quarantined at a government school in Panchgani after they were caught violating the coronavirus lockdown at a farmhouse in a large group of 23 that drove 180 km from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for a holiday.
"Today the Wadhawan family is completing their quarantine period. So the police have informed the Enforcement Directorate and CBI that they should come and take them into custody. We have requested them to take custody after 2 pm today. But if they don't, they will be in our custody till the agencies come," said Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Mr Deshmukh has confronted much criticism over the Wadhawans' illegal "lockdown holiday" at a time all such movement is strictly banned in the country's fight against coronavirus, which has infected the most people in Maharashtra.
The brothers, their families, cook and helps travelled in two Range Rovers and three Fortuners, enabled by a special pass issued by a Maharashtra government officer, Amitabh Gupta who has since been sent on compulsory leave. The state government has also asked the Centre to take action against him.
A court will tomorrow hear the Enforcement Directorate's petition seeking cancellation of bail for Kapil Wadhawan for violating his bail conditions and travelling during the coronavirus lockdown.
Kapil Wadhawan, 46, was arrested in January and charged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was granted bail on February 21 by a special court in Mumbai.
The brothers had skipped summons to appear for questioning in a money-laundering investigation citing COVID-19. "Health is a priority," they claimed.
Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan had lookout notices in their name, issued by the CBI. They are facing two investigations, one related to the diversion of at least Rs 14,000 crore from DHFL using fake borrowers and alleged kickbacks taken by Yes Bank promoters in exchange for loan to DHFL.
The CBI searched their premises on March 9 but they were missing. They resurfaced in the spotlight after their farmhouse trip was abruptly cut short by the police earlier this month.