DHFL promoters’ Mahabaleshwar jaunt amid lockdown: Sena blames BJP

The Wadhawans along with 21 family members and servants were stopped at Satara and put in a quarantine facility in Panchgani

Kapil Wadhawan DHFL
Dewan Housing and Finance Corporation (DHFL) led by Kapil Wadhawan and Deeraj Wadhawan owes Rs 83,873 crore owes to banks and investors. | PTI File Photo

A row has erupted over DHFL promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, facing probe related to money laundering, moving to Mahabaleshwar, a picturesque hill station, about 200 km from Mumbai, earlier this month.

The Wadhawans had along with 21 family members and servants left from a guest house in Khandala for a guest house in Mahabaleshwar on April 9. However, they were stopped near Satara and sent to a quarantine facility in Panchgani for violating the lockdown.

The DHFL promoters are being probed by the CBI and ED for Yes Bank fraud and money laundering, and were being summoned by the two agencies. On failing to respond to summons, they were accused of absconding. The ED has seized two Rangerovers and a Toyota Fortuner, according to reports.

Also, with the lockdown to contain coronavirus in place, they were not supposed to travel.

The BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis quickly jumped into the attack and sought to know from the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government about the “different rules for the rich and the poor”.

Related news: Yes Bank lent money to stressed firms like Essel, DHFL: Sitharaman

On Sunday, lawyers of the Wadhawans stated that they had not absconded nor violated any rule. Due to the coronavirus scare, they had moved to the Mahabaleshwar guest house, all with due permissions, they said.

Now, the Shiv Sena, in its mouthpiece Saamna, has put the blame on BJP, saying the officer who had given them permission was appointed by the previous Fadnavis government.

“It is now clear and self-explanatory who has been actually behind IPS officer and Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta’s decision and on whose instructions he would have put the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi – coalition government of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) government into a crisis,” Saamna said.

The Sena said Amitabh Gupta was appointed in the state Home department by Fadnavis government. And Gupta had described the Wadhawans as “family friends” and given a written permission for their movement amid the lockdown. Gupta has been sent on leave and a probe ordered into the matter.

“The opposition in the state should ask its questions to the Centre that who was behind Gupta in issuing the letter (to Wadhawans) and what exactly has the Centre planned in the Wadhawan case…It seems some conspiracy was being hatched but could not be successful,” the Sena said.

The CBI has asked Satara authorities not to release the Wadhawans from the quarantine facility in Panchgani without the agency’s approval.

Dewan Housing and Finance Corporation owes Rs 83,873 crore owes to banks and investors.

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