Gautam Thapar Sent To Enforcement Directorate Custody By Delhi Court
A Delhi court today remanded Gautam Thapar, promoter of the Avantha Group, to one day custody of the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged money laundering case, a day after the central investigating agency arrested him.
The former chairman of CG Power was produced through video conferencing at the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi when the ED sought Thapar’s custody for 14 days. The court, however, granted one day remand for now and permitted him to consult with his lawyers at the agency’s office for 30 minutes.
The Case Against Thapar
The case was filed by the investigative agency after it took cognisance of a first information report lodged last year by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The ED was probing an alleged fraudulent transaction between Thapar’s Avantha Realty Pvt. and Rana Kapoor, co-founder of Yes Bank Ltd., and his wife, who are already being investigated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Enforcement Case Information Report registered by the agency alleges criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy and misappropriation of public money between 2017 and 2019. The alleged actions caused a Rs 466-crore loss to Yes Bank.
The agency raided offices and residence of Thapar, among others, yesterday and arrested him in connection with the FIR.
The investigation relates to alleged irregularities in the 10-year operations and maintenance contract between Jhabua Power Ltd. and its subsidiary Jhabua Power Investment Ltd. for a power plant operated by the parent.
JPIL allegedly entered into a sub-contract with Oyster Buildwell Pvt. and the terms of this agreement required the payment of an interest-free refundable security deposit of Rs 514 crore. A loan for this was sought from Yes Bank.
The investigating agency says it received information from a present director of the company that this agreement was “sham” as no service was provided nor was any consideration paid according to the contract’s terms. OBPL is also alleged to lack the financial strength to service the proposed loans.
The loan from Yes Bank was taken by the management of Avantha Group with malafide intention of diversion and servicing of other loans and there wasn’t an iota of truth in agreements between JPIL and OBPL, according to the ED’s application seeking Thapar’s remand.
Thapar was represented by Karanjawala & Co. and Advocate Vijay Aggarwal.
The Rouse Avenue court will take up the case again tomorrow (August 5) at 2 pm.