NSEL board blames former management for payment crisis

Sep 03 2013, 12:15 IST
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NSEL, which is scheduled to make another round of payments to investors on Tuesday, may default once again. Reuters NSEL, which is scheduled to make another round of payments to investors on Tuesday, may default once again. Reuters
SummaryThe board of the NSEL has all but washed its hands of the Rs 5,600-crore payments crisis.

The board of the National Spot Exchange (NSEL) has all but washed its hands of the Rs 5,600-crore payments crisis on the bourse and has sought to pin the blame on former Anjani Sinha and his management team. Soon after the crisis came to light, NSEL vice-chairman Jignesh Shah and director Joseph Massey, appeared before the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) and suggested the possibility of a big shortfall in stocks that then CEO Anjani Sinha had said existed in warehouses as security against transactions on the exchange.

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Last week, the NSEL board went one step further, launching a formal complaint against Sinha and his team before the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police. The board has alleged that the erstwhile management was “probably hand in glove” with the entities that defaulted on their payment obligations leading to the collapse of the exchange.

According to persons familiar with the matter, the EOW has formed a special investigation team and is collating information from other regulatory agencies, including the Registrar of Companies and the FMC. The Mumbai Police wing, however, has not yet called anyone for interrogation or recording of statement.

“The complaint says that whatever was the promise about collateral security, that is not there. The management that was supposed to do all the due diligence and check everything was probably hand in glove with them which led to the entire fiasco,” said a person privy to the matter.

“It will be a crime if it is proved that the loss was because of inducements coupled with the fact that people who had induced were aware that the system is going to crack,” added the person on condition of anonymity. A formal first information report (FIR) has not been registered yet.

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The board also alleged that it was not aware of the developments that led to the settlement crisis. While the NSEL complaint too named the defaulters, some investors have filed separate complaints with the EOW alleging the board too was responsible for the fiasco.

Sources add that the EOW, which investigates white collar crimes, will look at the aspect of criminal offence, if any, along with information hinting at misappropriation of funds, cheating and forgery. NSEL has

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