ECONOMY

Delhi Court Extends Gautam Thapar’s Custody With Enforcement Directorate Till Aug. 15

A Delhi court today extended Gautam Thapar’s custody with the Enforcement Directorate till Aug. 15 in connection with an alleged money laundering case.

Thapar, promoter of the Avantha Group, was produced in the Rouse Avenue court following the expiry of his one-day remand with the investigating agency.

During the hearing today, Thapar’s lawyers, Karanjawala & Co., said investigating agency hadn’t specified the reasons that justify the need for a custodial interrogation.

The court, however, didn’t agree.

The Case Against Thapar

The case against the former chairman of CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd. was filed by the ED after it took cognisance of a first information report lodged last year by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The ED was probing an alleged fraudulent transaction between Thapar’s Avantha Realty Pvt. and Rana Kapoor, co-founder of Yes Bank Ltd., and his wife, who are already being investigated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The Enforcement Case Information Report registered by the agency alleges criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy and misappropriation of public money between 2017 and 2019. The alleged actions caused a Rs 466-crore loss to Yes Bank.

The agency raided offices and residence of Thapar, among others, on Tuesday and arrested him in connection with the FIR.

The investigation relates to alleged irregularities in the 10-year operations and maintenance contract between Jhabua Power Ltd. and its subsidiary Jhabua Power Investment Ltd. for a power plant operated by the parent.

JPIL allegedly entered into a sub-contract with Oyster Buildwell Pvt. and the terms of this agreement required the payment of an interest-free refundable security deposit of Rs 514 crore. A loan for this was sought from Yes Bank.

The investigating agency said it received information from a present director of the company who said the agreement was “sham” as no service was provided nor was any consideration paid according to the contract’s terms. OBPL is also alleged to lack the financial strength to service the proposed loans.

The loan from Yes Bank was taken by the management of Avantha Group with malafide intention of diversion and servicing of other loans and there wasn’t an iota of truth in agreements between JPIL and OBPL, according to the ED’s application seeking Thapar’s remand.

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