Wadhawan brothers in CBI custody, probe against IPS officer completed

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken custody of scam accused Wadhawan brothers from Mahabaleshwar and take them to Mumbai, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said here on Sunday.

“The Satara Police has extended to the CBI all required assistance and an escort vehicle with guards up to Mumbai on a written request. The arrest procedures are going on,” Deshmukh said.

In a related development, Deshmukh announced that the probe into the circumstances leading to the permission granted to the Wadhawans and others to travel from Pune to Satara during the nationwide lockdown is completed.

“Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik’s report on the inquiry against Principal Secretary Home (Special) Amitabh Gupta is likely to be submitted by today or tomorrow,” Deshmukh said in a tweet.

The two brothers – Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan – along with 21 other family members had gone from Khandala hill station in Pune to the cool climes of Mahabaleshwar in Satara at the height of the lockdown on April 9, sparking a huge political controversy.

On April 8, Gupta had given them written permission to travel in five vehicles, but when they reached Mahabaleshwar on April 9, locals vehemently protested after which they (Wadhawans) were all sent into institutional quarantine at the twin hill-station of Panchgani.

As a massive row erupted over the incident with accusations and counter-allegations, Deshmukh on April 10 shunted Gupta to ‘compulsory leave’ and ordered a probe into the incident by another senior official.

Meanwhile, the Wadhawans’ quarantine got over without any incident on April 22 and the state government immediately asked the CBI to take them into its custody, which the probe agency did on Sunday.

While in quarantine, the Wadhawans – through their lawyers – claimed that they were actually escaping from the coronavirus outbreak and had decided to shift from a rented accommodation in Khandala to their ancestral home in Mahabaleshwar.

Following the controversy, the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) also jumped in, with the former writing to the Satara Police to hold them (Wadhawans) and not to release them without its clearance, while the latter seized the five vehicles in which the Wadhawan families had travelled.

The Wadhawan brothers and their DHFL Group are named as accused along with Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor in the scam which erupted in early March.

A bail plea by Kapoor on health grounds was earlier rejected by a Mumbai court and he remains in judicial custody.

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