Markets watchdog Sebi on Thursday ordered attachment of properties related to PACL in an illegal fundraising case as part of efforts to recover thousands of crores of investors money. The properties being attached are land parcels situated at Banur in Punjab, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a notice.
The regulator had found that PACL Ltd, which had raised money from the public in the name of agriculture and real estate businesses, collected more than Rs 60,000 crore through illegal collective investment schemes (CISs) over 18 years. A committee headed by retired Justice RM Lodha initiated the process of refunds in phases for investors, who had invested in PACL.
The committee has successfully effected refunds to more than 12.7 lakh investors, with claims up to Rs 10,000, aggregating to Rs 438.34 crore as of March 2021. The attachment order comes after the Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Punjab, informed the committee about the properties belonging to PACL. Therefore, the committee directed Sebi's recovery officer to attach these properties.
Consequently, the regulator, in an attachment notice on Thursday, attached these properties and prohibited all the persons from disposing of, transferring, or alienating these assets, as per the notice. The regulator has prohibited entities concerned "from taking any benefit under such disposal, transfer, alienation or charge in respect of the properties… which stands attached in execution of recovery certificate."
Further, they have been directed to furnish complete details of all the moveable and immoveable properties held by them, and charges if any, in a prescribed format, along with original title deeds pertaining to the four properties within two weeks. Earlier in December 2015, Sebi had attached various bank, Demat accounts, and mutual fund holdings of PACL and its promoters as well as directors after they failed to pay dues.PACL and its promoters, as well as directors, were asked by Sebi to refund the investors' money in an order passed in August 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.