Moving ahead with its efforts to recover funds worth Rs 60,000 crore in the PACL case, Sebi has put on sale real estate properties of the group across 192 districts, including in Punjab and Rajasthan.
PACL, which had raised money from the public in the name of agriculture and real estate businesses, was found by Sebi to have collected these funds through illegal collective investment schemes over 18 years.
Pursuant to a Supreme Court order, Sebi had set up a high-level committee to ensure refunds are made to the genuine investors after sale of attached PACL assets, including vehicles.
The panel, chaired by former chief justice of India R M Lodha, is overseeing the process of disposing of assets to refund money to investors after verifying their genuineness.
The committee has invited public at large to submit expression of interest (EoI) for sale of properties in 192 districts. After receipt of EoI, the auction will be conducted within two months or such reasonable time as determined by the committee.
“PACL, its subsidiaries, associate companies and their past or present directors, employees and agents are not eligible to participate in the auction process,” Sebi said.
Most of the properties being auctioned are in Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Besides, Sebi is scheduled to auction as many as 47 vehicles owned by the company tomorrow.
Last December, Sebi ordered attachment of all assets of PACL and its nine promoters and directors for their failure to refund more than Rs 60,000 crore due to investors — the biggest amount for any such case.
PACL had raised Rs 49,100 crore from nearly 5 crore investors that it needs to refund along with promised returns, interest payout and other charges, which took the total amount due to over Rs 55,000 crore, as per the Sebi order.
Besides, PACL’s group firm PGFL “illegally mobilised more than Rs 5,000 crore and failed to refund the same in spite of directions of Sebi and SAT”, the regulator had said while initiating the recovery proceedings.
The proceedings were initiated against PACL as also its promoters and directors.
Recovery proceedings were launched “for their failure to refund an amount of Rs 49,100 crore with return due to investors, along with further interest and all costs, charges and expenses incurred in the recovery proceedings”.
Sebi had asked them to refund the money in an order dated August 22, 2014. The defaulters were directed to wind up the schemes and refund money to the investors within three months from the date of the order.