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Former Chairman of Bhushan Power & Steel deleted electronic data to conceal his wrongdoings: ED to Court

NEW DELHI: An Assistant Engineer of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL) has told the probe agencies that Sanjay Singal, former Chairman of BPSL deleted electronic data of his e-mail ID [email protected] of period prior to November 11, 2017.

This was informed to a local Court by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposing Singal’s bail. Counsel for the agency, Advocate Nitesh Rana told the Court that a forensic examination would be required to find out the source of deletion of electronic data of the e-mail ID of Sanjay Singal.

The Assistant Engineer has further told the probe agencies that besides Singal, other officials of BPSL also deleted the electronic data prior to November 2019. The said officials, along with Singal, stand booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on charges of fraud.

Considering the gravity of allegations, a local Court today denied bail to Singal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 23. Seeking bail, Singal had said that ED’s contentions had no force.

Considering the deletion of electronic data an “important factor” for deciding Singal’s bail, the Court held Singal “knew the possibility of interim resolution professional taking over an therefore, it cannot be ruled out that he got the electronic data deleted to circumvent adverse consequence for him”.

The order further reads “such offences have deleterious effect on the economy of the country which ultimately effects everyone and have worse effects for the last man in the row”.

ED’s counsel Nitesh Rana further told the Court that the scale of diversion of bank loan funds is much larger and that the diverted funds have been siphoned off to other entities within and outside India and have been used for creation for personal assets in the name of Sanjay Singal and/or entities/individuals controlled by him. The amount involved is at least Rs 27,704 crores, the Court was told.

The Court recorded that the possession of the assets of BPSL were taken over by interim resolution professional on July 26, 2017. Therefore, the management of affairs of M/s BPSL since then is with the resolution professional. The Resolution Professional has the authority to access the electronic records of corporate debtor from information utility having financial information of the corporate debtor.

The CBI booked Bhushan Power and Steels on April 5.

As first reported by ET on November 27, the ED in its probe report had alleged that Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL) acquired various assets to the tune of Rs 27,559 crores during the period when funds out of loans received from various banks were “diverted and routed back as equity” by BPSL.

As per its probe report, the agency said that BPSL acquired land valued at Rs 361 (appox) crores during 2011 to 2017 and made addition of building valued at Rs 7473 crores and plant and machinery valued at Rs 19725 crores during the said period.

Source: Economic Times