Securities and Exchange Board of India cracks down on an illicit real estate scheme

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 2 2013, 02:43am hrs
Market regulator Sebi Friday barred Servehit Housing & Infrastructure India and its directors from raising money from public after a probe into mobilisation of funds by the company through alleged illicit real estate scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has also asked Servehit Housing & Infrastructure India Ltd, its directors not to dispose off properties and assets acquired through its collective investment schemes (CIS) as well as not to divert the funds raised from such schemes.

Further, it has has asked for a full inventory of assets owned by Servehit Housing out of the amounts collected from investors under the company's various schemes. The company has also been restrained from launching any new schemes.

In an order dated October 31, Sebi said that it began probing the alleged illegal mobilisation of funds by Servehit Housing on receipt of a complaint against the firm in 2010.

The firm had offered a scheme towards "purchase, development and maintenance of plot" and allegedly mobilised money from public with resultant promise of returns.

The regulator has asked the firm and its five directors to file their replies against the charges within 15 days from the date of the order.

"It prima facie appears that Servehit Housing and Infrastructure India Ltd is running a CIS without obtaining a certificate of registration from Sebi as required under the CIS Regulations," Sebi noted.

"the protection of the interest of the investors is the first and foremost mandate for Sebi and therefore steps have been taken to ensure that Servehit Housing & Infrastructure India Ltd does not collect further funds under its scheme".

According to Sebi preliminary probe, the scheme run by Servehit Housing wherein the company invited applications from public for booking a plot with promise of returns "has been camouflaged by Servehit Housing & Infrastructure India Ltd by terming it as a real estate business only to mislead and attract investment from public".

The directors of Servehit are - Sukhminder Singh, Rajender Kumar, Balbir Singh Saini, Satish Kumar and Surjeet Kumar.