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Investors want action against brokers, defaulters

Mumbai (PTI): A year after the Rs 5,600-crore scam at National Spot Exchange (NSEL) came to light, aggrieved investors who are yet to get their money back, demanded action against top brokers of the crippled bourse, arrest of all top defaulters and a Special Court for faster recovery.

Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of Mumbai Police and Enforcement Directorate (ED), a Central agency, have so far attached properties and bank accounts of the NSEL promoter Group Financial Technologies worth Rs 4,500 crore.

“We seek action against top brokers along with 253 other brokers, who aggressively marketed the contracts traded on the bourse, which are at heart of the Rs 5,600-crore scam,” NSEL Investors Forum Chairman Sharad Saraf said.

Payment crisis

Several top brokers are expected to be soon summoned for interrogation by EoW as the police-appointed forensic auditor is set to submit interim reports on their alleged role in the payment crisis which came to light in July-end.

“We hope the Modi government will expedite the case and set up a Special Court for early liquidation of assets to the tune of Rs 4,500 crore attached by EoW and ED,” he said.

“They (investors) want the police to arrest all top five borrowers and amend Prevention of Money Laundering Act to permit ‘restituion’ of assets for benefit of investors and enhance the punishment terms for such crimes,” Saraf said.

Asked what the Forum has achieved till now, he said it has requested Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to set up a Special Court under Maharashtra Protection of Depositors Interest Act to speed up recovery of investor money. On its part, Bombay High Court has appointed Mumbai Deputy Collector Ajit Sakhare to handle the recovery process.

The top NSEL borrower-defaulters include NK Proteins (Rs 970 crore), Mohan India and Group firm Tavishi Enterprises (Rs 906 crore), ARK Importers (Rs 719 crore), Laxmi Energy (Rs 709 crore) and PD Agro Processors (Rs 640 crore).

Saraf blamed lack of coordinated approach amongst multiple agencies related to the case like EoW, Enforcement Directorate , CBI, Finance and Corporate Affairs Ministries, Sebi and FMC (commodity regulator) for the delay in getting them justice.

NSEL, India’s only commodities spot exchnage, went belly up on July 31 last year after the then UPA Government ordered its shutdown for violation of norms.

Following this, the exchange defaulted on its payment obligations. This created a chain reaction which ended with the crippling of FTIL and arrest of, among others, NSEL promoter Jignesh Shah.

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