Panel on NSEL to review actions taken by agencies

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SummarySpecial team of secretaries submitted a report to FM P Chidambaram recommending action against NSEL and company officials.

A high-level panel set up to probe irregularities at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) will take stock of the actions taken by various investigating agencies in the matter on Monday.

This development comes after the Mumbai Police on Saturday completed attaching assets of all defaulters in the exchange.

The special team of secretaries, headed by economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram, had earlier submitted a report to finance minister P Chidambaram recommending action against NSEL and company officials.

The panel had also recommended filling the regulatory gaps and improving oversight in spot exchanges along with strengthening the Forward Markets Commission (FMC).

Based on the recommendations, follow up actions were required to be taken up by the corporate affairs ministry, revenue department, Enforcement Directorate, Serious Fraud Investigation Office, FMC, Financial Intelligence Unit and the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority.

“The special committee will review the action taken by these departments on the report,” an official told The Indian Express.

Along with examining the violation of laws and regulations by the exchange associated companies and participants, the panel has also suggested measures to ensure that there is no systemic impact of the NSEL developments.

The spot commodity bourse, promoted by Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), has been facing problems in settling Rs 5,600 crore dues of 148 member brokers, representing 13,000 investor clients.

While the enforcement directorate has initiated action, with the bourse continuously defaulting on payments, and has registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the corporate affairs ministry has expanded the scope of investigation to related firms as well.

The Registrar of Companies, Mumbai has recommended that a case should be made under the Companies Act 1956 for mismanagement and oppression.

The Mumbai Police have attached a total of 212 properties worth Rs 2,679.4 crore of defaulters, directors and senior officials of the NSEL, and frozen 325 bank accounts. It is also examining the books of accounts of borrowers.

An FIR in the case was lodged in September by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police against directors Jignesh Shah, Joseph Massey and others charging them with cheating, forgery, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, among other offences.

So far, five persons including Anjani Sinha, Amit Mukherjee and Jay Bahukhundi of the NSEL, and borrowers Nilesh Patel, managing director of NK Proteins, and Arun Sharma, chairman of Lotus Refineries and a film financier, have been arrested

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