The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch has requested the home department to designate a special court for the trial of the alleged R5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam. The EOW has so far arrested 17 accused in the alleged scam, in which over 13,000 investors lost their money. Apart from the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the EOW has also invoked the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors (MPID) Act in the case, which empowers it to attach properties of the accused and liquidate them.
According to EOW sources, the request was made in order to ensure a quick and speedy trial, as scope of the case is huge and it involves deposition of hundreds of witnesses and submission of loads of paperwork as evidence.
“We have asked the home department to designate a special court specially for the NSEL case and are awaiting a response. The letter was written around a month back. There were later some discussions with the chief minister’s office and we are hopeful of a positive response,” said additional commissioner of Police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha.
Sources added that another proposal — asking for fast-track courts for economic offences — was also discussed during the same meeting with the CMO.
The NSEL case first came under the police scanner in early 2013, after thousands of investors approached the police alleging that they had been cheated out of their money, which was being used for personal gain by NSEL’s directors and promoters. Further investigations revealed that NSEL had failed to store goods equal to the value of the investors’ money in their warehouses. The EOW registered an FIR on September 30, 2013, under various sections of the IPC and went on to invoke the MPID.
By Gautam S Mengle