Yes Bank, DHFL scam: 23 members of Wadhawan family found holidaying in Mahabaleshwar, senior IPS officer facilitated their travel

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Satara/Pune/Mumbai, April 9, 2020: At a time when the state is grappling with Coronavirus COVID19 outbreak which has affected over 1,000 people and the entire state is under lockdown, a senior IPS officer posted in the Home ministry of Maharashtra government allegedly facilitated road travel of 23 members of Wadhawan family from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar on April 8.

After the incident came to light today, the state government ordered an enquiry against IPS officer Amitabh Gupta, currently posted as Principal Secretary, Home Department of Maharashtra government. Gupta issued a special pass to Kapil Wadhawan & Dheeraj Wadhawan (Yes Bank co-accused) to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for a ‘family emergency’ and called them his family friends.

Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted, “No lockdowns for mighty & rich in Maharashtra? One can spend holidays in Mahabaleshwar with official permission from the police. It is not possible that a senior IPS officer would do such gross mistake knowing the consequences on his own. With whose order or blessings was this done? Mr CM & HM you owe us an explanation.”

Some villagers had informed the administration about people from Mumbai camping at a farmhouse in Mahableshwar. Accordingly, revenue department officials and police reached there. Satara district police detained all the 25 persons for violating lockdown rule under Section 144. They have now been sent into institutional quarantine in Mahableshwar. Also, an FIR has been registered against them for various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Now Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has ordered an enquiry. “We will conduct an inquiry to find out how 23 members of Wadhawan family travelled to Mahabaleshwar”, Deshmukh tweeted.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 16 had issued summons to DHFL’s former promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, the co-accused in the Yes Bank case, to appear before the agency on March 17 in connection with the money laundering probe. However, the Wadhawans didn’t attend ED office citing the COVID-19 pandemic for their non-appearance.

The ED had registered a case against Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor, the Wadhawan brothers, RKW Developers, and Doit Urban Ventures Ltd, a company owned by daughters of Kapoor on March 7. RKW is another company controlled by DHFL promoters.

Kapoor, his family members, and others are accused of laundering Rs 4,300 crore by receiving alleged kickbacks in lieu of extending sizeable loans to big borrowers through the bank. The loans later turned non-performing assets (NPA).

Letter issued by Amitabh Gupta IPS for Wadhavan family