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Mumbai: A special court on money laundering on Thursday offered some respite to the 68 accused in the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam, including Jignesh Shah, who were supposed to make a personal appearance before the court on Thursday. Shah was chairman of Financial Technologies India Ltd, which promoted NSEL.

Shah was granted an exemption on medical grounds. The other accused, including officials and directors of the 24 borrowers who had defaulted on their obligations, were asked to give an undertaking that they will be present for trial, which will begin on 18 July.

The trial based on the chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) pertains to the trading halt on NSEL in July 2013 after a settlement crisis at the commodities bourse, which was 99.99% owned by FTIL. The trading halt led to a settlement crisis of 5,574.35 crore.

The ED had filed its first chargesheet in the NSEL scam in April 2015, but hearings were stuck due to technical issues. In the chargesheet, the ED had allegedly uncovered a criminal conspiracy that led to the scam.

The ED had registered a criminal case against the accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in 2013 to probe the case, along with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police.

The ED has also attached properties worth 600 crore in the case. These include the properties of the defaulters such as NK Proteins, PD Agro Processors Ltd, Mohan India etc. In June, the review group by the department of economic affairs (DEA) had asked the ED to start auction of the attached properties.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jayshree P Upadhyay
Jayshree heads a team of reporters focussing on legal, regulatory, investigative stories. She has worked for over a decade, reporting on financial scams, legal stories and the intersection of corporate and regulatory issues. She is based in Mumbai and has previously worked with Business Standard, Mint, The Morning Context and Bloomberg TV India.
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Updated: 07 Jul 2016, 10:16 PM IST
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