The Madras High Court has directed the Economic Offences (EO) Wing of the Central Crime Branch to take steps for identifying immovable properties in the name of executives of HBN Dairies and Allied Limited, which is alleged to have cheated around 20 lakh depositors of Rs 1,137 crore.
Justice M S Ramesh passed the order on a criminal original petition filed by one Immanuel, seeking an investigation into the matter in a reasonable time frame as fixed by the court.
In the order, the judge said, "The Economic Offences wing shall coordinate with all district collectors in the state as well as superintendents of police to ascertain as to whether any complaints in connection with the present issue is pending with them."
"In the meantime, the EO wing shall also take effective steps to obtain the genuineness certificate of the immovable property belonging to senior CEO M Ranganathan and other accused," he said.
It is alleged that the company collected deposits from over 20 lakh people all over India and in particular from 1,000 people in Tamil Nadu, for conducting business in dairy and allied products.
On the basis of a complaint from one Jayabharathi, EO II (Chennai) registered a complaint under various sections of the IPC and Section 5 of Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) (TNPID) Act.
A total of eight people were named as accused. Of them, two are absconding while the Madras High Court had granted bail to three others.
Based on complaints received by Raipur police, the SEBI has frozen immovable properties of the company, its managing director and director. The title deeds of the immovable properties of the directors were already deposited with the SEBI.
It was also submitted that the total number of complaints may go up to 5,000 or more, of which only 526 had been received so far.
The EO II submitted that the immovable properties of company executives Ettiyappan, CED South, and Muthaiyan, manager, in Tamil Nadu were identified and steps were being taken to attach the same.
The judge, after recording the status report, posted the matter for further hearing to March 23.
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