Three weeks after the Corporate Affairs Ministry ordered a "discreet inquiry" into the books of accounts of Purti Power & Sugar Ltd -- the company floated by BJP chief Nitin Gadkari -- CNBC-TV18 learns that Registrar of Companies (RoC) Mumbai has found several prima-facie violations of the Companies Act and have sent a notice to the Purti group as well. CNBC-TV18's Ronojoy Banerjee reports.
The RoC is looking into the private placement that the company undertook between March 2009 and January 2010. RoC’s preliminary inquiry has found that during this period the company had issued about 1.27 crore shares to over 7000 people and entities. This, RoC feels, may well have breached Section 67(3) of the Companies Act that set a 50% cap on such private placements.
Along with that RoC’s inquiry has also revealed that the company could have given preference to certain allottees during this period. For instance, the RoC has said that Purti had given about 1.5 million shares to two companies -- one of them being Ideal Road Builders, which is the company that allegedly gave Purti a large chunk of loan to get the company started.
In this case, RoC feels that Purti could have been given shares at par, where ideally, the company should have issued them shares at a premium of Rs 8-12, as per its special resolution had approved.
Also, another bone of contention is how the company (i.e. Global Safety Vision) with a paid-up capital of just Rs 35,000 could give a loan of Rs 164 crore to Purti.
Here RoC’s preliminary inquiry has found that there were eight companies that had given corporate guarantee to Global Safety Vision. Interestingly, these eight companies are also shareholders in Purti Group. Therefore, the RoC has asked the company to explain the inter-connection.
Important note: These are preliminary findings under Section 234. These are not the final findings. RoC will only conclude the investigation once they get the responses from the company.
CNBC-TV18 spoke to Purti officials. In a sense, they confirmed receiving notice. They said that the RoC cannot and will not conclude the investigation without Purti’s responses and they hope that RoC will positively look at the responses they will soon issue.