Ponzi scam: NCLT orders winding up of 68 Saradha Group firms

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Published: September 21, 2019 3:06:32 AM

Notably, in December last year, the NCLT Kolkata Bench had ordered winding up of 13 companies of Saradha Group, directing the official liquidator to take possession of assets and properties of all these companies.

Ponzi scam, NCLT, Saradha Group firm, ROC,  Ministry of Corporate Affairs, MCA, industry news, Saradha Bhumi Infrastructure, Saradha Abasan, Saradha Duplex, Saradha Entertainment, Saradha Sports, Saradha Cottage, Saradha Realhome, Notably, the tribunal had ordered winding up of 10 companies of Saradha group, including Saradha Promoters, Saradha Conclave and Saradha City Town, on August 29.

In connection with the multi-crore Saradha ponzi scam, the Kolkata Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has ordered winding up of 68 companies of the now-defunct Saradha Group in the last three days. A two-member Bench has directed the official liquidator to take possession of assets and properties of all these companies.

The Registrar of Companies (ROC), West Bengal, which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), had filed winding-up petitions before the tribunal against these Saradha Group of companies under Section 271 (c)/(d) and Section 272(3) of the Companies Act, 2013 to initiate winding-up proceedings on the ground that the affairs of the companies had been conducted in a fraudulent manner and they had not filed income tax returns for last few years.

Passing the winding-up orders for 68 companies, including Saradha Bhumi Infrastructure, Saradha Abasan, Saradha Duplex, Saradha Entertainment, Saradha Sports, Saradha Cottage and Saradha Realhome, during this week, the Bench has directed the official liquidators to submit progress reports to the tribunal within 180 days from the date of receipt of these orders.

Notably, the tribunal had ordered winding up of 10 companies of Saradha group, including Saradha Promoters, Saradha Conclave and Saradha City Town, on August 29.

“The ROC had filed winding up petitions against 124 Saradha group of companies. The tribunal has so far passed winding up orders against as many as 78 companies. And, the other matters are due to be listed for hearing in the next couple of weeks. I hope the tribunal will pass the same order for winding up against the rest of the companies of Saradha group,” MS Tiwari, a senior counsel representing the central government in this matter, told d.

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Notably, in December last year, the NCLT Kolkata Bench had ordered winding up of 13 companies of Saradha Group, directing the official liquidator to take possession of assets and properties of all these companies. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) had filed petitions before the tribunal against these 13 entities under Section 271 (c) of the Companies Act, 2013, with Section 243 of the Companies Act, 1956, to initiate winding-up proceedings. “These companies are now in the hands of the liquidators,” Tiwari informed.

Interestingly, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued a fresh notice to former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, asking him to appear before it on September 20 as it continued to search for him at various locations in Kolkata in connection with the Saradha ponzi scheme scam.

Saradha Group had raised around Rs 2,500 crore from lakhs of people luring them with attracting interest rates. The money was never repaid. Kumar was part of a special investigation team (SIT) set up by the West Bengal government to investigate the scam before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases.

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