The nationwide lockdown in India for 21 days is in its last leg and some states, including Maharashtra, have requested an extension due to the rising cases of coronavirus in the country. Defying the lockdown orders, which restricts movement under Section 144, Maharashtra's reputed Wadhawan family is in the spotlight.
Using an influential status, the Wadhawan family secured a letter signed by the principal secretary, home department Amitabh Gupta, which to gain safe passage from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for a total of 23 members. Deewan Housing Finance Limited promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan along with 21 other members of their family, friends in five cars managed to get past the sealed borders from Pune district to Satara district.
In the letter, details of five cars along with the names of the people traveling in those cars were mentioned, which allowed the Wadhawans to clear all checkpoints.
Wadhawans in quarantine
But the stunt did not go unnoticed. The residents reported the Wadhawans to the administration when they reached their farmhouse on Thursday morning. According to media reports, DHFL promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan along with 21 other family and friends members have been detained in Mahabaleshwar for violating Section 144 and placed under institutional quarantine at a government hospital in Panchgani, Satara SP Tejasvini Satpute confirmed, according to Money Control.
The Wadhawan brothers are the co-accused in the Yes Bank case and were summoned by the ED to appear before the court on March 17. But they cited the reasons of coronavirus pandemic and failed to appear before the court in the money laundering case against them.
Maha govt left red-faced
The involvement of Gupta in the case hasn't pleased the state government of Maharashtra. In response to this, Home minister Anil Deshmukh ordered a probe into the matter and strict action to be taken.
"I had no idea about this letter. This was given by Gupta, that's true but I don't know the details over why this letter was given. So, we will conduct a probe and tomorrow a strict decision will be taken. This was not appropriate, I completely accept this,'' said Deshmukh.
CM Uddhav Thackeray was angry over the incident had said the administration is embarrassed.