In response to market regulator Sebi’s order dated May 18 related to alleged fund diversion by erstwhile promoters of Fortis Healthcare (FHL), the company said that the Board is now evaluating the order in detail, in consultation with legal advisors.
Fortis also noted that the order was in respect of Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center limited (EHIRCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of FHL. “The management and Board of the Company that was newly constituted after NTK Ventures Pte Ltd. became promoters of the Company, are evaluating the Order in detail, in consultation with their legal advisors,” Fortis said in a notification to the stock exchanges.
In the notification, Fortis further said that a penalty of Rs 1 crore has been imposed on EHIRCL for violation of certain provisions of the SEBI
However, Fortis added that Sebi has highlighted that EHIRCL is presently under a completely new management and the revamped management has taken steps against the erstwhile management for the fraud perpetrated under its watch.
According to PTI, Sebi imposed penalties totaling Rs 38.75 crore on 32 entities, including Fortis Healthcare
This matter dates back to 2018 when it came into light through media reports that promoters of listed FHL had allegedly taken out massive funds from the listed entity.
Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, the statutory auditor of FHL, had refused to sign on the company’s second quarter results until the funds were accounted for.
An investigation into the matter was initiated. The probe examined grants of inter-corporate-deposits (ICDs) to three borrower companies – Best Healthcare Private Limited, Fern Healthcare Private Limited, and Modland Wears Private Limited — during the period from FY12 till FY18.
The regulator was examining possible violations of the provisions of the Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (PFUTP).
Sebi found that a systematic scheme of fraud was devised by the erstwhile promoters of FHL to funnel resources of a listed company through ICDs or short term loans to various intermediate entities for the benefit of RHC Holding, an entity which was indirectly owned by the erstwhile promoters of Fortis – Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh.
PTI reported that according to the May 18 order, funds totaling Rs 397 crore were diverted from FHL to RHC Holding through a network of entities. Sebi has levied a fine of Rs 5 crore each on Best, Fern and Midland.
In addition, it imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore each on Fortis Healthcare Holdings, Fortis Global Healthcare, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, RHC Finance, Shimal Healthcare, ANR Securities, Oscar Investments, Ligare Aviation (formerly Religare Aviation), Adept Lifespaces (formerly Adept Creations), Best Cure (new name Devera Developers), Rexcin Finance, Best Medicines (new name -Best Health Management), Artifice Properties, Ranchem, Addon Realty, AD Advertising, Rosestar Marketing, Torus Buildcon, Tiger Developers, Zolton Properties, Saubhagya Buildcon and Lowe Infra and Wellness, PTI said.
The regulator has also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh each on Preetinder Singh Joshi, Anurag Kalra, Jasbir Grewal, Tejinder Singh Shergil, Pradeep Raniga, Brian William Tempest and Harpal Singh. Further, Sebi had imposed penalties aggregating to Rs 24 crore on 9 entities including businessmen Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, in connection with violations in the Fortis Healthcare matter.