The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has determined that Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh – former owners of India’s largest healthcare chain Fortis Healthcare – have defrauded the company by illegally diverting Rs 403 crores of funds. The capital markets regulator has given the two brothers and eight related corporate entities three months time to pay the money back, along with interest, to Fortis Healthcare.
In a disclosure on Wednesday, SEBI said that it will meanwhile continue to investigate alleged fraud at the healthcare firm to check the role other companies may have played. All the entities have prima facie acted in a fraudulent manner in diverting funds of around Rs 403 crore from Fortis Healthcare for the ultimate benefit of the parent company, thus violating the securities laws, SEBI said in a 21-page interim order.
“The prime facie role of FHL and FHsL in the alleged diversion of funds through the conduit entities (viz. Best, Fern and Modland) to RHC Holding and Religare Finvest Limited for the ultimate benefit of Shivi Holdings Private Limited, Malav Holdings Pvt Ltd, Shivinder Mohan Singh and Malvinder Mohan Singh has already been established,” it said in the report.
Also, Singh brothers as well the other 8 entities have been asked not to divert any funds or dispose of any of their assets without SEBI’s prior approval. However, they can use the capital for expenses of day-to-day business operations and certain other purposes. SEBI has also asked the Singh brothers to keep their distance from the affairs of Fortis Healthcare in any manner till further directions by it.
The probe by the capital markets watchdog was launched in February this year after media reports said that the promoters reportedly siphoned about Rs 500 crore from the company without board approval and enough collaterals.