Consumer Issues
Moneylife Impact: Ministry asks SFIO to look into Helios & Matheson; ROC in 3 other cases
MCA has responded to Moneylife Foundation's survey and memorandum of 1,500 plus complaints by asking the SFIO to examine non-payment of FDs by Helios & Matheson. In case of Jaiprakash Associates, Unitech and Plethico, the MCA has asked ROC to examine findings from the Moneylife Foundation
 
Acting as a mere post office, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) forwarded a Memorandum from Moneylife Foundation highlighting the plight of over 1,138 aggrieved investors in corporate fixed deposits (FDs) to the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), as well as, to its regional offices for further probe, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Moneylife Foundation compendium represented an analysis of 1,596 complaints, which was sent along with the names, details and numbers of investors, mainly senior citizens, who have been cheated by these companies.
 
Unfortunately, the MCAs attitude reeks of utter callousness. Nobody from the Ministry bothered to respond to Moneylife Foundation's Memorandum, although it was sent to the Minister as well as Secretary in-Charge. It is only when we followed it up by filing an RTI application we got responses from the Ministry. This means that the battle for investors is far from over. Affected investors or Moneylife Foundation will now have to pursue the matter with SFIO and the regional offices to keep up the pressure and ensure there is some action.
 
Here is what the MCA has informed us through various RTI responses. On 8 April 2016, a letter to Moneylife Foundation told us that the complaint and memorandum has been forwarded to SFIO "for necessary examination and incorporation of findings thereof in investigation report". However, the note attached to it indicates that the action is with regard to Chennai-based Helios and Matheson Information Technologies Ltd (H&M).  A note put up by the joint director for instructions says, "It is alleged that the subject company is cheating people by collecting fixed deposits from them u/s 58A of the Companies Act".
 
In January 2016, the Madras High Court ordered the liquidation of H&M and appointed an official liquidator. The hard-hitting Court order noted that the company had siphoned off funds, 'appears unreliable' and 'cannot be believed any further'. The HC had also directed an investigation by the SFIO in this case. However, the company had obtained a stay on the matter.
 
Separately, the MCA had forwarded complaints against three other companies to its regional offices, where the head offices of these companies are located. This includes Jaiprakash Associates (forwarded to ROC, Kanpur), Unitech Ltd (to Regional Director for North Region) and Plethico Pharmaceuticals Ltd (to Regional Director for North West Region). There is no information available yet on two other companies that formed part of our memorandum, namely, Elder Pharmaceuticals and Bilcare Ltd. Interestingly, complaints about both these companies and others in our list continue to pour in from hapless investors.
 
 
In the Jaiprakash Associates case, the same letter also includes one complaint forward by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) with regard to the company as well as BL Kashyap & Sons Ltd. In this case, however, Anshu Tandon, Assistant Director, MCA, has asked for a report on the violation in 30 days. This letter is dated 4 April 2016.  Significantly, in the case of Unitech, forwarded by us, the same Mr Tandon merely says, "advise you to direct to inspection officer to examine complaint during course of inspection". Clearly, there is no plan to hurry up or focus on quicker redress.
 
Moneylife Foundation's compilation showed that H&M accounts for the largest number of 
complaints. Besides H&M, companies, which have a large number of complaints are: Elder Pharmaceuticals, Jaypee Group, Unitech, Plethico Pharmaceuticals and Bilcare Ltd. The other companies were: Neesa Leisure, Phadnis Infrastructure, Micro Technologies, Jaypee Infratech, Yash Birla group of companies and Omnitech Infosolutions.
 
The survey found that a majority of the aggrieved depositors choose to complain to the company itself, which is pointless. The Company Law Board (CLB), MCA, economic offences wing (EOW) and the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) are the regulatory agencies with whom they should seek to get their grievance redressed. 
 
The survey found that a mere 2% of the complaints made to the companies were redressed. A whopping 83% were unresolved, while others did not complain. Repeated phone calls, e-mails and sometimes even personal visits and pleading to these companies have not yielded any results. Many companies and their officers do not revert to the depositors. Some of the companies give repeated extensions for the due date of principal and interest, but they are not repaid even after the extension date elapses.  
 
Based on the findings from the Survey, Moneylife Foundation sent a Memorandum to Arun Jaitley, the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs. Below is the copy of the Memorandum...
 

 

 
You may also want to read…
 
 
Based on feedback and response from scores of citizens to our earlier survey on corporate FDs, Moneylife Foundation is looking at the feasibility of filing a class action for non-payment of fixed deposits. A dispute before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) requires the dispute value to be above Rs one crore. For starters, we are collecting data for SIX companies mentioned above.

Please complete this form and share it with those who are facing similar issues.
 

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COMMENTS

Vinayak Mahamunkar

9 months ago

Thanks to Money Life for taking up this issue.

Rajesh Ramakrishnan

11 months ago

Kudos to Moneylife for taking up this issues at various forums

Rajesh

manoharlalsharma

11 months ago

Your organisation rightly founded lack of Knowledge where to complain if it is not the right place no action would be taken semirally we complain in the matter of co-operative to JTR and then concerned minister and then in to the HC once u r application entered in HC all fuctionarise close the door till court of law decide the case and it is the TIME we purchase BRIBE to settle and make corrupt more corrupt/CREATING market for corruption. 'The survey found that a majority of the aggrieved depositors choose to complain to the company itself, which is pointless. The Company Law Board (CLB), MCA, economic offences wing (EOW) and the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) are the regulatory agencies with whom they should seek to get their grievance redressed.

Srikanth Matrubai

11 months ago

Thank you very much again.
One of my relatives has invested in many of these companies FD and another which is not mentioned here, namely NEESA LEISURE LTD.
Please follow up on NEESA LEISURE LTD.
That company seems to politically backed too and is not caring to reply (as expected, of course)

Hiten Mehta

11 months ago

Thanks

Nikhil S Girme

11 months ago

Yes Sucheta Maam ,we totally agree on the points raised

Will request your colleague Mr Sapkal to share which media houses were interested in story so that we follow up with them directly

Thanks again for the sincere help

Rgds

Nikhil S Girme

11 months ago


nikhil girme ‏@fourthlife 2h2 hours ago Haveli, India
#arunjaitley 75000 Srs, 5000 crs, 1000 requests on non repayment of deposits by Helios,Neesa,Phadnis,Unitech .MCA,SEBI,ROC role ?

Nikhil S Girme

11 months ago

Ms Dalal and Mr Yogesh Sapkale

We still await media interviews your team was trying to help us with.
Could you pls look into it again Yogesh Sir ?
We are desperate for the same and need your focused attention
We need media exposure to expose these companies

thanks again !

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Nikhil S Girme 11 months ago


Mr Girme ... we were not trying to canvass media interviews. It was the media that showed interest and did not follow up.

We will not be pushing for other media to report. That is something you and your group that has lost money ought to be doing !! We are already doing way beyond our best -- especially when we do not recommend that people invest in unsecured corporate fixed deposits, just to get 1 - 2% more of interest!
The risk to hard earned money is too high!

shanti Patel

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 11 months ago

Sucheta is perfectly right. The people who are affected should take up the matter with media and expose such management. CNBC BAZAR has such programme-PAHEREDAR.
THey should form a group and meet the concern Minister and talk through influential Member of Parliament.
Lastly prevention is better. Investors should not be GREEDY. For getting little more interest they are risking the PRINCIPAL.
CA S.K.PATEL
Joint Hon.Secretary-Bombay Shareholders Association

R Balakrishnan

11 months ago

Senior Citizens have to look before they leap. If someone gives something extra, just think why are they doing it? And is it worth risking a lakh of rupees for an extra two thousand rupees? Stick to safety. Well known names. IF IN DOUBT, avoid. And, open up. Do not keep everything a secret till you lose money.

REPLY

Nilesh KAMERKAR

In Reply to R Balakrishnan 11 months ago

Sir,

Perhaps, senior citizens ought to look & simply refuse to leap.

Senior citizens may consider the following suggestion:

1) Put 85% of their savings in a 3 yrs Bank FD & invest the balance 15% in direct equity / equity mutual funds.

2) 100% Capital protection as - In 3 yrs Principal + Interest for 3 yrs on FDs will be little more than their original capital &

3) holding on to their equity investments for 3 yrs in all probability may surprise them pleasantly

Abhishek Patil

11 months ago

Thank you so much Team moneylife for helping people. Sadly, most of the people who put money into these corporate FDs are senior citizens who put their retirement money into corporate FDs. Its disheartning to see these senior citizends putting their queries on online blog based forums and awaiting response. Some of them are in desperate need money for medical treatments.

Its also highlights importance of Investement Seminars held by Moneylife foundation for Senior Citizens. I wish similar seminars can be made mandatory before claiming retirement funds.

gopalkrishnann1

11 months ago

So many hapless depositors don't know to whom they should approach; they are searching & finding Cos' addresses from offer documents & repeatedly sending remainders, with out any use. In this context, your work is most commendable.
Thanks.

Hiten Mehta

11 months ago

Thank you MoneyLife, registrars like RR Investment who offer such schemes are not replying and you are doing great work.

Hope we get H & M money back with the efforts.

Regards,

Hiten
9769760002

Nikhil S Girme

11 months ago

Break through to some extent !! Thanks Money Life Team and Ms Sucheta Dalal in particular for taking up our requests and being extremely patient with we depositors

Do continue the good work Money Life



'SBI's loan repayment norms for poor students obnoxious'
Chennai : A wilful defaulter of a Rs.9,000 crore bank loan can be a member of parliament but a poor student who had defaulted on education loan due to economic/family circumstances is barred from applying for a clerical job in State Bank of India (SBI), which is obnoxious, said a top bank union leader.
 
After naming and shaming education loan defaulters, SBI is now preventing them from applying for clerical job in the bank which is patently wrong, said a top bank union official.
 
"The SBI in its notification for hiring junior associates and junior agricultural associates has barred candidates with record of default in repayment of loans/credit card dues or against whose name adverse report of CIBIL or other external agencies are available from applying for the job," C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) told IANS.
 
"Candidates against whom there is/are adverse report regarding character & antecedents, moral turpitude are not eligible to apply for the post," SBI notification said.
 
"The SBI's condition is obnoxious and unfair and has to be changed. The economy is not doing well and as a result the corporate loans are turning bad or non-peforming assets (NPA). As a result, freshers are not able to get a job and unemployment is high," Venkatachalam said.
 
It is ironical that Vijay Mallya owes around Rs.9,000 crore to SBI and other banks is a MP despite being declared by banks as wilful defaulter but a poor student who might have defaulted on loan for genuine reason is prevented from applying for a clerical job by SBI, Venkatachalam remarked.
 
"A fresh graduate cannot repay his education loan if he does not get a job. And if hiring organisations like SBI bar such candidates even from applying then how can they repay their loans. Normally a fresher will only have education loan against his name," he added.
 
"Genuine borrowers will be affected by SBI's condition. In fact, banks do not maintain their accounts and there has been cases where a student who has not completed his course has been classified as NPA by the banks," K. Srinivasan, convenor, Education Loan Task Force (ELTF) told IANS.
 
According to Srinivasan, education loans are classified as NPA's for non-payment of interest subsidy by the central government.
 
The ELTF guides students on rules and regulations governing education loans offered by nationalised banks free of cost.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

COMMENTS

R.Asokkumar

11 months ago

It is a pity that Vijay Mallya is becoming an inspiration for all loan defaulters. Are people aware that the students who get settled with well-paying jobs also do not repay? Probably the Banks should distinguish between the wilful defaulters and unemployed among the beneficiaries of educational loans. While restructuring should be done for the latter category, stringent action should be taken against those who refuse to pay even after landing in a cushy job

In parched Maharashtra, BJP-Shiv Sena compete as mass match-makers
Mumbai : Maharashtra's ruling allies, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena, have evolved a new strategy to win the hearts of the agitated people of the state's drought-hit regions - by arranging mass-marriages of young couples.
 
Though both parties are tied in an uneasy wedlock in the Maharashtra government, they have gone their 'separate' ways for performing the mass marriages.
 
On Saturday (April 16), Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray played 'godfather' and performed the 'kanyadaan' for 244 couples at a lavish mass-marriage organised in Aurangabad.
 
"The couples were 194 Hindus, eight Muslims, 42 Buddhists and mostly belong to farmers' families from villages in the drought hit Marathwada region of the state," local party MP Chandrakan Khaire told mediapersons.
 
The marriages were solemnized as per their own religious customs and the Shiv Sena engaged the services of 51 brahmin priests, eight maulvis and 11 bantejis for the couples from various communities.
 
Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao was the chief guest at the event in which 244 demure brides and their grinning grooms, accompanied by their family members and close relatives, sought his blessings.
 
Besides a sumptuous wedding feast, each couple was gifted a set of wedding attire, gold jewelery including a 'mangalsutra' and 76 household items and utensils worth Rs.100,000, Khaire added.
 
Last year, when Thackeray toured the drought-hit regions, he was moved by the plight of the people and decided to launch the 'Shiv Sena Pramukh Balasaheb Thackeray Kanyadan Yojana' which would organise the all-expenses-paid, multi-religion, mass-marriages.
 
Not to be outdone, the BJP also organised its own independent mass-marriage ceremony on Sunday (April 17) in Jalna where a whopping 551 shy couples happily tied the knot.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP state President Raosaheb Danve, several cabinet ministers and top party functionaries were present on the occasion to bless the newly-wedded sea of couples in a special marquee erected in the town.
 
"We received over 700 applications for the mass-marriage function, mostly from poor farmers families. From those, we shortlisted 551. The remaining were rejected on various grounds, including under-aged boys or girls, or applicants with doubtful credentials and the like," said BJP official Mukund Kulkarni.
 
Elaborate arrangements were in place for the Sunday evening mass-wedding ceremony with a variety of goodies for the marriage feast and ample parking for the invitees, estimated to be over 100,000, and VVIPs et al.
 
Since January, thousands of families in the drought-hit regions of Marathwada, north Maharashtra and Vidarbha have been forced to either cancel or postpone the wedding plans of their sons/daughters, mainly due to shortage of water and poor financial conditions.
 
After visiting the drought-hit regions last year, Thackeray announced that the Shiv Sena would shoulder the responsibility of marrying off the eligible boys and girls in the affected regions.
 
The plan was formalised in December 2015 and the first initiative was kicked off with a mass-marriage for 333 couples in Parbhani on February 28, followed by another for 244 couples on April 16.
 
Officials from the BJP and Shiv Sena said more such mass-marriage programmes are in the pipeline for other drought-hit districts so that the families are spared of the burden of wedding expenses in these dry, difficult times.
 
Both parties are making all-out efforts to ensure that the marriages are a glittering affair to remember for the young couples and their families.
 
After the function, the couples are sent back with bags full of gifts which include the expensive Paithani silk saris, safari suit pieces, basic items of gold jewellery and pricey watches, a 76-piece set of steel utensils and other household stuff.
 
"The couples should start their new married life together without the tensions and nitty-gritties of setting up a home, so we are giving them a decent start through the gifts…" a Sena official said.
 
The move has earned praises from farmers' activist Kishore Tiwari, the president of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Svavlamban Mission, who said getting a daughter married is a major contributory factor to farmers' suicides in the state.
 
"Many farmers have committed suicide in the past as they could ill-afford to solemnize their daughter's marriage. The government should announce a full-fledged 'kanyadan' scheme like Madhya Pradesh and bear the complete marriage expenses of youth from poor families or farmers," Tiwari urged.
 
He said that in the current inflationary trends, even low-key marriages in rural areas can set a family back by around Rs.300,000, which is normally borrowed from private sources and when they cannot pay back, the borrowers end their lives.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

bharati

11 months ago

Also teach the couples about birth control and to wait til better times and prosperity to have a kid. NO ONE should have even one child unless they are fully prepared and able to care for it for 20 years. Don't force people to have children/ especiallygirls they do not want: the life of an unwanted child is much much harder.

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