1 min read.Updated: 23 Feb 2014, 11:58 AM ISTAman Malik
CBI registers case against promoters over allegations of collecting money from public by running pyramidal schemes
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Saturday that it had registered a case against the promoters of two New Delhi based companies—PACL Ltd, a real estate company, and PGF Ltd, a sister company.
A CBI spokesperson said that on the direction of the Supreme Court, the agency undertook an inquiry to look into “allegations of collections of huge deposits form public at large" by the promoters and directors of the two companies “by running pyramidal schemes under the garb of allotment of agricultural land to depositors".
“The said inquiry resulted into a criminal case against them and their associates for criminal conspiracy and cheating," the spokesperson said. The agency has conducted raids in five cities—New Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Mohali and Ropar.
“The search operation has led to seizure of huge records and data relating to deposits from public and their mis-utilization and diversion of funds," the spokesperson said.
Officials at both companies could not be reached on the phone despite repeated attempts.
The CBI spokesperson added that in March last year, the Supreme Court had directed market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the income-tax department and CBI to investigate the companies. “Following this, in June, the CBI registered the case and these raids are a part of that investigation," the CBI spokesperson said.
The case had first come to light in 2002, when Sebi had ruled that the investment schemes floated by PACL were in the nature of so-called Collective Investment Schemes and so the company needed to abide by the rules. This order was quashed in 2003 by the Rajasthan high court, which was challenged by Sebi the following year.
Following this, in September 2011, Sebi had again moved the apex court seeking an early hearing in the case.
According to its website, the PACL group has interests in agriculture, tourism, hospitality and the electronic media. The company manages the P7 News channel, Pearls Tourism Ltd, Pearls Oceanique Resorts in Goa, Victoria Grand Hotel and Spa in Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh), in addition to various real estate projects. PGF Ltd manages the “Pearls Spices" band.