A day after 23 people, including 10 members of the Wadhawan family and their staff, were quarantined at a government facility at Panchgani in Satara, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said it had written to the district authorities not to release the two DHFL promoters, Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, without the agency’s nod.
The Wadhawans were quarantined at the hill station after they travelled to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai, allegedly crossing closed district boundaries in violation of movement orders during the nationwide lockdown with the help of a letter issued by a senior IPS officer. Kapil and Dheeraj have been on the run after they were named as accused in a multicrore scam connected to Yes Bank. A unit of the Economic Offences Wing of the CBI is probing the matter.
The letter issued to them by the IPS officer has since been flashed on television channels. It reads that the Wadhawans are his (IPS officer’s) family friends and were going to Mahabaleshwar due to a family emergency. State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered an inquiry into the matter on Thursday night.
However, the Satara district police quarantined them at a government facility in Panchgani and registered a case against 23 people under sections 188 (disobeying order promulgated by public officer) for the violation of the lockdown, 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) under the Indian Penal Code. Despite reports that the family was carrying a letter issued by a senior IPS officer, Satara police said the family did not have a valid permit.
A press statement by the CBI on Friday read, “On April 9, information was received by CBI that both the accused (Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan) were located in Satara district and lodged at a government institutional quarantine centre at Panchgani. Thereafter, an email has been immediately sent to district magistrate and superintendent of police of Satara for not releasing them without an NOC from CBI or order of the court and for taking other necessary steps to prevent the accused persons from absconding.”
Satara Superintendent of Police Tejaswi Satpute said, “After the investigation, we will submit our report to the court. The court will decide further.” Speaking to The Indian Express on Wednesday, Satpute had said, “The family from Mumbai has managed to cross multiple police jurisdiction boundaries, including that of Pune Rural, Pune City and even Satara district, for entering and going to Mahabaleshwar. How they managed to breach the district border lockdown is a matter of investigation. In our primary checking, we did not find a valid permit with them, and that is why they were booked in criminal offence.”
On March 7, the CBI had registered a case against Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan along with Rana Kapoor, the then managing director and chief executive officer of Yes Bank, and others. A CBI officer said both Kapil and Dheeraj were on the run since the beginning of the investigation. On March 9, the CBI raided the premises of the accused but they were not found.
The CBI had then issued a notice to them which went ignored. Following this, a non-bailable warrant of arrest was issued on March 17.
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