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Sebi cautions investors against dealing in PACL properties

NEW DELHI, Feb 26:  Cautioning investors over PACL’s illegal money-pooling case, Sebi has advised them against dealing with any property where the group and its promoters have interests.
It also asked investors to retain their documents and not part with them for any reason whatsoever till a “specific notification” is issued by the Supreme Court appointed R M Lodha committee — which is overseeing disposal of PACL assets so as to refund the affected investors.
“Only the committee is authorised to sell the properties of PACL or properties wherein PACL has interest/rights therein directly or indirectly,” the markets regulator said.
PACL, which had raised money from the public in the name of agriculture and real estate businesses, was found by Sebi to have collected more than Rs 60,000 crore through illegal collective investment schemes over a period of 18 years.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said that process of auctioning PACL Ltd’s properties is underway. It had earlier invited public at large to submit expressions of interest for sale of properties in 192 districts. In this regard, 6,504 EoIs were received.
It said the process of refund would be initiated upon realisation of a sizeable amount by the Committee. In such case, investors would be required to file their claims only in the prescribed format upon specific notification by the committee.
Sebi has cautioned the public “against buying/dealing with any properties wherein PACL Ltd or any of its associates/ subsidiaries have any interest/rights, directly or indirectly”.
In December 2015, Sebi had 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, as per the Sebi order.
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. (PTI)

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