New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has written to the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Maharashtra’s Satara to not release the scam-tainted Wadhawan brothers without its permission.
The development comes hours after the Maharashtra government on Friday sent on ‘compulsory leave’ IPS officer and Principal Secretary, Special, Amitabh Gupta for allegedly allowing the them to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar on Wednesday at the height of the lockdown.
A senior agency official here said that on Thursday information was received by CBI that Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan were located in Satara and lodged at a government quarantine centre at Panchgani.
“Thereafter, an email has been immediately sent to DM and SP of Satara for not releasing them without NOC from CBI or order of the court and taking other necessary steps to prevent the accused persons from absconding,” the official said.
The directions from the CBI came after the local administration put both the brothers, along with 21 others in a quarantine centre in Maharashtra’s Panchagani, a hill station near Pune.
The CBI official said that the Wadhawan brothers were absconding since beginning of the investigation in the alleged Yes Bank scam probe.
The CBI had carried out searches at the premises of Wadhawans on March 9 this year and during the time of the searches, both of them were not available at their residence.
The two had also notices served to them but did not join the investigation.
Following their-non compliance, the Special CBI court in Mumbai issued a non-bailable warrant against both of them on March 17.
The official said that even after the issuance of NBW, they have not appeared before CBI or the court.
Besides the CBI, both the brothers have been named as accused by the Enforcement Directorate. Wadhawans were summoned on multiple occasions by the CBI and the ED. The ED had also searched their Mumbai residence and Mahabaleshwar farmhouse but both of them could not be traced.
According to the central agency sources, the Wadhawans went in hiding since March 8 after Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor was arrested by the ED in a case related to suspicious loans granted by the bank and alleged quid pro quo to Kapoor’s family companies for these loans.
However, the 21-day novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown forced them to vacate the guesthouse. Fearing arrest, they decided to travel to Mahabaleshwar and not Mumbai.
The Mahabaleshwar Police early on Friday booked 23 persons of the Wadhawan family and others for flouting various laws including the Epidemic Diseases Act.
“They were found here on Thursday evening and said they had come from Mumbai, travelling from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar. We have lodged an FIR against them under various laws pertaining to flouting lockdown under the pandemic,” an official from Mahabaleshwar Police Station told IANS.
The matter sparked off a huge political storm late on Thursday with the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Bharatiya Janata Party state Vice-President Kirit Somaiya demanding a probe and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s scalp.
The Wadhawans have been linked as accused in the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank and Yes Bank scams along with the entities, DHFL-HDIL.