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NSEL Scam: HC panel tightens screws on defaulters

A committee formed by the Bombay HC has ticked off the directors of Vimladevi Agrotech over non-cooperation

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

Hardening its stance on defaulters in the Rs 5,600-crore payment crisis at National Spot Exchange (NSEL), a committee formed by the Bombay High Court has ticked off the directors of Vimladevi Agrotech over non-cooperation.

In its latest judgment, the three-member committee chaired by justice V C Daga (retired) warned that it would not hesitate to report to the Bombay High Court to cancel the bail of the directors.

Kota (Rajasthan)-based Vimladevi Agrotech’s total outstanding default amount is Rs 13.94 crore out of the total receivables of Rs 14.02 crore in July 2013, when the payment crisis came to light.

The economic offences wing (EOW) and crime investigation department (CID) of Mumbai Police have attached 2.5 hectares of factory land in Kota currently owned by Vimladevi Agrotech.

In this connection, the EOW had arrested Chandramohan Premchand Singhal and Varun Gururaj Gupta of Vimladevi Agrotech in August last year. After a few weeks of police and judicial custody, the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) court granted them bail.

Meanwhile, the committee is all set to recommend sale of attached properties for which the Competent Authority and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, through which Vimladevi Agrotech has mortgaged its properties, have approached the MPID court to secure required orders.

The committee has issued notices to Vimladevi Agrotech for appearance, which were received but, according to the order, ignored.

“In the event of their failure to appear, then, the committee shall be free to proceed ex parte against them and accounts submitted by NSEL shall be accepted as final and conclusive account and appropriate action shall be recommended. This direction is issued keeping in mind that VAL (Vimladevi Agrotech) has not yet filed complete accounts, in spite of giving repeated opportunities in this behalf. This conduct of VAL shall be taken into account for drawing adverse inference against them, if necessary,” said the order.

Responding to Business Standard query, VAL’s counsel Sanjeev Parulekar said, “The claim made by NSEL for payment dues is incorrect. In fact, we have paid more than the money borrowed. So, we need to take back our money.”

Other defaulters, Aastha Minmet India with a total payable amount of Rs 22.70 crore, has submitted the demarcated portion of three acres of land in Hyderabad and 44.11 acres in Cuttack with attractive offers for sale. The Committee ordered to act instead of submitting just proposal.

The Committee has ordered Gagan Suri of Yathuri Associates with a payment obligation of Rs 399.6 crore to submit an affidavit in support of his statement that he had given Rs 89 crore to one Sanjiv Bhasin, which was denied by the latter. Also, for disposal of paddy stocks of Namdhari Foods International with a payment due of Rs 51.02 crore, the Competent Authority has received attractive bids. Disposal is underway.

The Committee ordered to transfer an amount of Rs 44 lakh crore held in Metkore Alloys and Industries into NSEL escrow account.

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First Published: Sat, April 11 2015. 21:14 IST