IPS Officer Sent On Leave After Mumbai Billionaires Wadhawan Violated Lockdown
Billionaires Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, being investigated in multiple fraud cases, were detained at their farmhouse in a Maharashtra hill station after they were caught violating the coronavirus lockdown with more than 20 family members.
A senior police officer has been sent on compulsory leave for helping the Wadhawan family - promotors of the scam-hit shadow lender DHFL - drive in a group of 23 to their farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar, in violation of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
The police, alerted by local people, tracked down the group at the farmhouse. They have all been quarantined there.
The family drove to the town, over 250 km from Mumbai, in five cars on Wednesday night. They had passes issued by IPS officer Amitabh Gupta, Principal Secretary, Home, in the Maharashtra government; he called their trip a "family emergency" in an official letter.
"This is to just inform you that the following are well-known to me as they are my family friends and traveling from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for family emergency...Hence you are hereby informed through this letter to cooperate with them to reach their destination," said the letter signed by the IPS officer, along with details of those traveling in each of the five cars.
According to the police, the Wadhawans took their cooks and servants. The police have filed a case against all of them.
Brothers Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan had lookout notices in their name by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and are accused in the Yes Bank and DHFL fraud cases. The CBI is considering taking them into custody once their quarantine ends.
Last month, they skipped summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the third time in the money laundering probe against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and others, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wadhawan brothers had said "health is a priority".
The opposition BJP has sought an explanation from the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government and demanded the resignation of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
"Will probe how the 23 members of the Wadhawan family got permission to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar," Mr Deshmukh tweeted last evening.