Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday sought National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam accused Jignesh Shah-owned 63 Moons’ stand over the Maharashtra government’s objection to its plea for de-freezing of its bank accounts.
A bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and M.S. Karnik asked 63 Moons, formerly known as Financial Technologies, to file its reply to the government’s objection within a week. The bench gave the direction to Shah’s firm on a state government affidavit, justifying the freezing of the 63 Moons’ bank accounts.
The government told the bench that the Mumbai Economic Offences Wing (EOW) had frozen only four of over 30 operational accounts of the firm. The government also objected to the argument of senior advocate Amit Desai, the counsel for 63 Moons, that the firm was unable to disburse salaries to its employees since its accounts had been frozen.
As per the affidavit, the government had asked 63 Moons on previous occasions to submit a list of its employees and the money owed to them by the way of salaries, reimbursements, etc so that the company could be granted access to adequate money from its accounts for such expenses.
The company, however, was yet to provide such a list, it stated. Taking note of the government’s logic, the bench also directed the company to file a detailed reply containing details of the expenses that it is likely to incur towards paying its employees and other statutory dues.
The bench also directed the Maharashtra Advocate General to appear before it on 2 May, the next date of hearing, to argue the case on behalf of the government. On 4 April this year, the government had issued a directive to freeze operating accounts of the company, alleging that complaints had been received from several depositors against 63 Moons-owned NSEL.
The government said the depositors had alleged that the NSEL, run by FTIL (now 63 Moons), promoted by Jignesh Shah, had collected money by promising attractive returns to depositors, but had failed to keep the promise. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a charge sheet against Shah and then FTIL chief executive officer (CEO) Anjani Sinha along with 20 other entities in the alleged NSEL scam.