The Madras High Court has directed the Economic Offences Wing of Tamil Nadu Police to take into custody three erstwhile officials of Disc Assets Lead (India) Limited, lodged in the Madurai central prison, and probe their assets in the alleged Rs 11.37 billion cheating case.
A bench comprising justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee, before which the matter came up for hearing on November 14, directed the investigating agency to take the three to the registered office of the company in Madurai and other places to secure the documents related to immovable properties and other valuables.
The bench, while denying bail to the three -- erstwhile Managing Director V Janardhanan and directors N M Umashankar and N Arun-- granted the investigators the right to break open lockers, if any, and take an inventory of all articles found in them. It allowed them to also videograph and photographs the items, if required.
The counsel for the three submitted that they had furnished the property documents worth about Rs 4.5 billion before the Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar-headed committee which was appointed by the first bench of the High Court to go into the matter.
However, the counsel for the committee objected to the bail plea of the three.
The division bench, which refused temporary interim bail, said, "In the light of the facts and circumstances, this court is of the view that interim prayer sought for by the petitioners for the temporary release or interim bail cannot be considered for the present."
The court directed the Superintendent of Central Prison, Madurai, to hand over custody of the three to the investigating agency between 10.30 am and 530 pm every day from November 19 to November 27.
The bench then posted the matter for further hearing to November 28.
The matter relates to alleged cheating of 12 lakh depositors of their investment to the tune of over Rs 1,137 crore by the Madurai-based Disc Assets, which was formerly into agri business, after offering farmland for purchase on instalment basis and assuring to maintain them.
The court had appointed Vasanthakumar, retired Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, as the administrator of Disc Assets for taking over the properties of the company to settle dues of the depositors.