DHFL promoters get VVIP facility, travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar flouting coronavirus lockdown; probe ordered

Dheeraj Wadhavan and Kapil Wadhavan, the brothers who promoted the company and are on bail in DHFL and Yes Bank fraud case, were given VVIP treatment by the state government to travel from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar in a convoy.

DHFL promoters get VVIP facility, travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar flouting coronavirus lockdown; probe ordered
Image courtesy: Reuters

Mumbai: Even as India is under a 21-day lockdown from March 24 midnight to April 14 midnight to combat the scourge of the deadly coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the promoters of DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd) and their family and friends have been allegedly flouting all the norms and availed of VVIP treatment under the current dispensation of Maharashtra.

Dheeraj Wadhavan and Kapil Wadhavan, the brothers who promoted the company and are on bail in DHFL and Yes Bank fraud case, were given VVIP treatment by the state government to travel from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar in a convoy on Thursday (April 9).

According to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya, who urged Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to order a probe into the matter, stated through social media that Dheeraj Wadhavan and Kapil Wadhavan got the VVIP facility on the recommendation of Maharashtra Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta, who allowed their family and friends to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar in a cavalcade of five vehicles on a special pass.

Somaiya further alleged that the letter released by Amitabh Gupta described Wadhawan as his "family friend". The BJP leader tweeted, "Wadhawan Brothers who are on Bail in DHFL/Yes Bank Fraud case are given VVIP treatment/passes by Maharashtra Govt to travel from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar in Convoy. I have urged Governor of Maharashtra to order Investigation."  

In another tweet, Somaiya said, "Wadhawan Brothers who r accused in Yes Bank/DHFL fraud, CBI had issued Non-Bailable Warrants against them, instead arresting them & handover to CBI, Maharashtra Govt gives them VVIP treatment Home Minister Anil Deshmukh owes explanation to the Country." 

He also released the letter that allowed the Wadhawan Brothers to enjoy the VVIP treatment by the state government official.

As the issue came to fore, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered an inquiry into VVIP pass issued to the Wadhawan family.

The Wadhawan family, which is being probed by investigative agencies like Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was seen at the Mahabaleshwar Hill Station in Satara district of Maharashtra.

As soon as the local police got the information, all the 23 members of the group were sent to the quarantine facility.

The five vehicles and the 23 members reached Mahabaleshwar flouting the lockdown rules passing through at least four to five toll plazas.

The ED and CBI, are probing the role of Wadhawan brothers in the Yes Bank fraud case as they are allegedly involved in the transactions of Rs 3700 crore. The investigative agencies have alleged that DHFL gave a bribe of Rs 600 crore to companies of Rana Kapoor, the founder and former managing director and CEO of Yes Bank, to take loans from the scam-tainted bank.

The ED had recently summoned the DHFL promoters for questioning in the Yes Bank case but they refused to appear citing the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. In a written reply to the agency, they pleaded that health is a priority in the current situation in the country.