Coronavirus outbreak puts brakes on corporate fraud investigations

The coronavirus epidemic (Covid-19) appears to have come as a disguised blessing for Rana Kapoor and others, who are under investigation for their alleged involvement in corporate fraud cases.

Sources state that law enforcement, including the Law Enforcement (ED), the Central Investigation Office and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, have decided to delay the comprehensive investigation into major business for at least one month.

Commercial standard spoke to senior officials from these agencies. According to them, the summons, the interrogation and the related actions were postponed because of the foreclosure. “We have reviewed requests to adjourn summons that were served on people in pending cases. In some cases, we have given a new date, which is between the end of April and the first week of May, “said an official of a federal agency.

This could relieve the accused and slow the investigation of crucial issues, particularly those cases that require immediate attention. This is because the evidence can be distorted or influenced, said a former official of an investigative agency.

One such question concerns the YES Bank Rana Kapoor affair, where the executive director summoned a handful of large borrowers, including the chairman of the Reliance group Anil Ambani, the chairman of the Essel group Subhash Chandra, the founder of the Indiabulls Sameer group Gehlaut and the founder of Jet Airways Naresh Goyal.

Some of these individuals have already received a new summons and have received a new personal appearance date. Those who obtained an extension from the previous date may also benefit from an exemption, said executing agency officials. Kapoor’s plea for bail, which was entered on Thursday, was adjourned by the court.

The Bombay District Court asked J J Hospital to let them know of their decision regarding Kapoor’s bail. The other erectile dysfunction cases that are affected are – Chanda Kochhar’s counterpart, the Edelweiss-Capstone forex violation case, the shady companies of Jet Airways-Goyals, the Air Asia probe where ED was to report to HC from Delhi.

They also include financial fraud at Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), the statement of charges in the case of former Minister of Finance P Chidambaram, etc.

Similarly, surveys by CBI and SFIO, which examine most of these issues from the perspective of corruption and violation of company laws, have also been affected.

Sources said the investigative agencies were considering moving a request, seeking more time to file the fees.

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