Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has said the Justice RM Lodha Committee has decided to allow investors to file claims for PACL Ltd.
In a statement, SEBI says, "The Committee has now decided to receive claims from all investors having outstanding claims with PACL. Investors desirous of submitting their claim applications may access the dedicated website, http://sebipaclrefund.co.in/."
However, the market regulator has cautioned investors not to give away their original registration certificates of PACL investment to anyone, unless the Lodha Committee gives specific intimation.
"...refund of amounts claimed will be considered only upon the completion of the entire process of receipt of applications and be based on the availability of funds with the Committee," SEBI has clarified.
In the first instance, investors of PACL whose total outstanding principal amount was up to Rs2,500 were refunded the money and according to SEBI, this process is now over. About 1,13,000 investors, who had filed claims in prescribed forms, have received up to Rs2,500 each. This claim were allowed to be submitted till 31 March 2018.
Separately, SEBI warned investors not to buy or sell with the properties of PACL or the company's subsidiaries. It says, "...the Committee has not authorised any individual or entity to sell the properties of PACL. It is also stated that any attempt by individuals or entities to illegally and unauthorisedly take possession of the properties of PACL will invite necessary action under law."
Last month, SEBI disclosed details of 29,000 properties of PACL, the Ponzi scheme that went bust. These details, says SEBI in a press release issued today, are available on the website www.auctionpacl.com
Last month, the Australian Federal Court had accepted claim filed by SEBI on assets of PACL in that country. The Australian Federal Court also stated that as per three orders passed by Supreme Court of India, SEBI Act, SEBI Regulations, the Indian market regulator has full right, interest, power and authority to seek relief in Australia in the PACL case.
After observing that the money mobilised by PACL from investors was utilised for acquiring certain assets in Australia, as directed by Justice RM Lodha Committee, SEBI had filed a claim petition in the Federal Court of Australia seeking repatriation of the assets or the proceeds thereof on behalf of all the investors in PACL.
During September 2018, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a charge sheet against PACL (erstwhile Pearls) and its chief Nirmal Singh Bhangoo in connection with a Ponzi scam involving over Rs49,100 crore, which was collected allegedly by two companies from 55 million investors.
Apart from Mr Bhangoo, who is in judicial custody, his three colleagues and other persons have also been named in the ED chargesheet filed in a special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).