IFIN's Ex-MD&CEO Ramesh Bawa Gets Bail from Bombay HC
Moneylife Digital Team 09 May 2024
The Bombay High Court (HC) recently granted bail on health grounds to Ramesh Bawa, former managing director and chief executive officer (MD&CEO) of IL&FS Financial Services Ltd (IFIN). As much as 90% of the loans advanced by IFIN, the lending arm of the infrastructure conglomerate Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), had turned bad.
Almost every law enforcement agency is investigating the IL&FS scam. The serious fraud investigation office (SFIO), working under the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA), had arrested Mr Bawa and Hari Sankaran, former vice-chairman of IL&FS, in connection with financial irregularities in the company. In March, Mr Sankaran was granted bail on health grounds by the HC. 
Arun Saha, former joint director of IFIN, and Karunakaran Ramchand, former MD of IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL) were arrested by the enforcement directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Five years after his arrest, in March this year, the Bombay HC granted bail to Hari Sankaran. In the order, justice Prithviraj K Chavan noted that Mr Sankaran has been suffering from various severe ailments, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other comorbidities.
The bench also observed that continuing his detention would increase the risk of cardiac death and frustrate the very object of Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and personal liberty. (Read: IL&FS: After Nearly 5 Years, Bombay HC Grants Bail To Ex-MD Hari Sankaran On Health Issues
As reported by Moneylife, almost 90% of the loans advanced by IFIN turned bad, underlining the deep corruption and culpability of the previous management. Of its loan book of Rs18,805 crore, Rs10,656 crore was lent to third-party borrowers and nearly Rs7,000 crore to group companies, N Sivaraman, chief operating officer at IL&FS group, had revealed. 
Apart from failing to disclose information or follow Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, the SFIO accused Mr Bawa of failing to disclose his interest in AAA Infosystems and AAAB Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, in which his wife and daughter are directors. 
SFIO also accuses IFIN of devising an illegal strategy to lend money to IL&FS group companies, violating RBI's concentration rules. IL&FS Transportation Network, the large listed company in the IL&FS group, was allegedly one of the primary beneficiaries.
You may also want to read our coverage of the IL&FS mess here…
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