The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the Ministry of Finance says it continues to monitor progress of investigation in the Rs5,600 crore National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam through Review Meetings. During the recently concluded meeting, it was informed that the SEBI has appointed empanelled auditors to conduct detailed inspection of books of five brokers of the erstwhile Forward Markets Commission (FMC) whose names figure in the list of offenders received from the EOW. SEBI was asked to get the audit of the books of brokers carried out in a comprehensive manner and expedite necessary action under law.
Several agencies, like Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) and Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) are looking in to the criminal offences and default in payments to investors on the platform of NSEL.
Maharashtra government has initiated process to auction attached properties in the NSEL scam. During the review meeting, Shaktikanta Das, Secretary for Economic Affairs advised the state government to expedite the auction of attached properties so that the money realised can be returned to the investors at the earliest following the due procedure.
Here are the updates and decisions taken in the review meeting hold on 6 June 2016...
• Government of Maharashtra has issued fifth Gazette notification on 17 March 2016 for attachment of 151 properties worth Rs358.46 crore. Till date, five Gazette notifications have been issued in respect of attachment of assets worth Rs6,115.25 crores approximately.
• MCA is working on the merger / amalgamation of NSEL with Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL). The Bombay High Court had granted extension of time up to 15 February 2016 to MCA for taking final view on the draft order of the amalgamation. The MCA issued the final Order on 12 February 2016 for the merger of NSEL with FTIL. The Bombay HC, however, has restrained the Government from notifying the final Order dated 12 February 2016 in the Gazette. In the review meeting, MCA was requested to take quick action and ensure that the case is handled on priority. Further, it was advised that a senior officer should visit Mumbai to follow up on the Court case.
• The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a prosecution complaint before the City Civil Court And Additional Sessions Judge, Greater Bombay on 30 March 2015 against NSEL and 67 other accused persons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The prosecution complaint details money trail amounting to Rs3,721.22 crore. The next date of hearing is on 7 July 2016. It was pointed out to the Directorate that the violation of PMLA is a serious offence and therefore, the Directorate should be more proactive and take effective action quickly.
• FIU-IND passed an Order on 4 November 2015 under section 13 of the PMLA imposing a penalty of Rs1.66 crores on the NSEL for non-compliance of the Act. NSEL has gone in appeal in the PMLA Tribunal against the Order passed by Director, FIU-IND. Besides this, Show Cause Notices have been issued to officials / Directors concerned of NSEL. FIU-IND was advised that all out efforts may be made to ensure realisation of the penalty at the earliest.
• As decided in the previous review meeting, Government of Maharashtra is working on proposals for providing additional manpower for EOW of Mumbai Police, which is investigating the NSEL case on an urgent basis; augmenting the number of Designated Courts under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) Act, 1999; and deployment of full time competent authorities for dealing exclusively with NSEL related work.