NEW DELHI: Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd’s (BPSL) former chairman, Sanjay Singal, had deleted data from his official email for the period prior to November 11, 2017, the Enforcement Directorate has told a local court, citing the statement of an assistant engineer at the company.
The court on Tuesday considered the alleged deletion of electronic data as an “important factor” as it denied bail to Singal, who is accused of financial irregularities and money laundering. The court held Singal “knew the possibility of (an) interim resolution professional taking over (the company), and it cannot be ruled out that he got the electronic data deleted to circumvent adverse consequence for him.”
ED’s counsel, Nitesh Rana, told the court that a forensic examination would be required to unearth the data deleted from the chairman’s email ID, [email protected]
The assistant engineer told probe agencies that some other BPSL executives had also deleted electronic data prior to November 2019, the ED said. These executives and Singal are booked by the CBI for an alleged fraud. The ED, which is probing the moneylaundering aspect of the fraud, had arrested Singhal on November 23. Seeking bail, Singal said ED’s conten-tions had no force.
ED’s counsel Rana told court that the scale of the alleged diversion of bank loans at the company was larger than what was reported, and that the diverted funds had been siphoned off to other entities within and outside India and used for the creation for personal assets in the name of Singal and/or entities/individuals controlled by him. The amount involved is at least
Rs 27,704 crore, the court was told. As first reported by ETon November 27, the ED in its probe report alleged that BPSL acquired various assets worth Rs 27,559 crore during the period when funds out of loans received from various banks were “diverted and routed back as equity” by BPSL.
While denying bail to Singal, the court said offences like this “have a deleterious effect on the economy, which ultimately affects everyone and has worse effects for the last man in the row.” The court recorded that possession of the assets of BPSL were taken over by an interim resolution professional on July 26, 2017. Therefore, management of the affairs of BPSL after that was with the resolution professional, who also had authority to access electronic records of the debtor.
Source: Economic Times