New Delhi: The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) will initiate a probe into alleged financial irregularities at Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises, according to a senior official.
The corporate affairs ministry has been looking into the affairs of Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises after recent reports that financial irregularities have emerged at the two companies.
A senior ministry official said an SFIO probe has been ordered against the two companies. The latest development comes against the backdrop of reports that the Fortis Healthcare’s promoters — Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh — took at least USD 78 million out of the company without any board approval about a year ago.
On Saturday, Fortis informed the exchanges that Sebi, which has instituted an investigation, has sought information and documents by February 26.
The company has received a communication from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) dated February 16, confirming that an investigation has been instituted in the matter of Fortis Healthcare, the company said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges.
SEBI has asked to furnish information and documents as mentioned therein by February 26, 2018, it said.
Fortis Healthcare has issued notices by the stock exchanges following a media report claiming that the company’s promoters, the Singh brothers, took at least USD 78 million (about Rs 500 crore at current exchange rate) out of the publicly-traded hospital company they control without board approval about a year ago.
Replying to the notices, Fortis Healthcare said its wholly-owned arm Fortis Hospitals had deployed funds to the tune of Rs 473 crore as secured short-term investments to group firms of its promoters.
Individually, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh held 11,508 shares each in Fortis Healthcare Ltd as on December 31, 2017, out of total 51,86,17,631 shares of the company.
Additionally, the Delhi Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) has restrained former CEO of Ranbaxy Laboratories and the co-owner of Fortis Healthcare, Malvinder Mohan Singh, from selling a posh property in Lutyen’s Delhi and some other assets in a bank loan default case.
A bench headed by presiding officer GVK Raju passed the interim direction on an application by Yes Bank seeking recovery of Rs 569.64 crore loan given to Oscar Investment Ltd. for which Singh was a guarantor.
“In the facts and circumstances of the case, defendants, their men or agents are restrained from alienating or creating any sort of encumbrance in respect of the immovable property, i.e., 1, Rajesh Pilot Marg, until further orders,” the court said, while also restraining him from selling some of his other assets including properties.
The bank had filed an application, claiming that the defaulters, “with an intention to defeat its rights, are trying to alienate the movable and immovable property and if they are permitted to do so, the bank would suffer irreparable loss.”
The tribunal also directed Singh to file an affidavit disclosing his movable and immovable assets.