PACL Refunds: Justice Lodha Committee Initiates Process for Payment to Investors
Moneylife Digital Team 15 April 2020
The Justice RM Lodha (retd) committee appointed in the PACL Ltd matter, has initiated the process of payment to investors. Till date, the Justice Lodha Committee has refunded money to over 0.83 million investors of PACL.
 
In a release, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said, "The Justice (retd) RM Lodha Committee in the matter of PACL had initiated the process of payment to investors in PACL. As on date, payment aggregating to Rs204.85 crore has been effected to 8,31,018 investors, with claims up to Rs7,000."
 
Earlier in January this year, SEBI had warned investors of PACL not to respond from any mails sent by Sebirefunds.org.  The market regulator says both, Justice Lodha Committee and SEBI, has not authorised or designated anyone in the PACL refund matters and had not issued any authority letter. 
 
"It is further stated that said email and domain name does not pertain to Committee or SEBI. The investors are advised to be cautious and not to act on such communications, if any, received by them. Investors are also requested not to be misguided or fall in trap of any such inducements and false promises," SEBI says.
 
In September 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a charge-sheet against PACL and it chief Nirmal Singh Bhangoo in connection with a Ponzi scam involving over Rs49,100 crore, which was collected allegedly by two companies from millions of investors. The ED, which started the probe after lodging an first information report (FIR) in 2015 based on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s case, had, in January 2018, attached Australia-based assets of the Pearls group and Mr Bhangoo worth Rs472 crore. 
 
Mr Bhangoo, his companies PACL and Pearls Golden Forest Ltd (PGFL), as well as several thousands of his commission agents were accused of cheating 55 million investors on the pretext of sale and development of agriculture land.
 
The companies made false allotments of land to investors. However, the companies never owned any land in their own name.
 
Mr Bhangoo and his companies promised the investors that allotment would be done on their investment between 90 and 270 days and, if not, handsome returns would be paid.
 
The mobilisation of funds by PACL goes back prior to 1997. Upon receipt of a complaint, SEBI on 30 November 1999 and 10 December 1999 issued letters asking PACL to comply with the provisions of the collective investment scheme (CIS) Regulations. 
 
PACL challenged these letters before the High Court of Rajasthan in December 1999, claiming that its scheme does not fall under the definition of CIS as defined under the CIS Regulation and SEBI Act. PACL also challenged the constitutional validity of the CIS Regulations. 
 
The Rajasthan High Court, on 28 November 2003, held that PACL's schemes were not CIS as defined under Section 11AA of the SEBI Act. The HC also quashed SEBI's letters issued to PACL. 
 
SEBI filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against the order of Rajasthan HC. The SC, on 25 February 2013, while allowing the appeal upheld the constitutional validity of CIS Regulations, and directed SEBI to investigate the matter and take appropriate actions. 
 
After conducting an inquiry, SEBI, on 22 August 2014, issued an order directing PACL, its promoters and directors to wind up all the existing CIS and refund the monies collected by the company to investors as per the terms of offer within a period of three months from the date of the Order. 
 
PACL filed an appeal before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which was dismissed on 12 August 2015. The SAT directed PACL and its promoters-directors to refund the money within three months. Since the company and its promoters-directors failed to refund the money to the investors as per the directions of SEBI and SAT, the market regulator said it has initiated the recovery proceedings.
Comments
surady129
3 months ago
Whenever I open the pacl sebi website it shows as your application is being processed and await... further I've also seen your money could not be paid back as you have mentioned the land allotted column as 'YES'...to my knowledge almost in all bonds that column is mentioned as 'yes', since the whole investment is related to lands ..but the investors has not received any land allotment or any documents related to any land... it's just that it has been mentioned in the bond..the people just paid their hard earned money as an investment believing the Pearls company.. majority of the investors are illiterate and doing meagre jobs...it's not just their money, it's their blood..their belief and hope in savings..
So, the Honble Committee must look into this matter regarding the land allotment column marked as 'yes' and must not hold the investors money due to that.. it's been years and still the investors are hoping that they'll get back their money..the tragedy and irony is most investors have also passed away without getting their money back and their families are hoping to get back the money invested...

Kindly respect the investors and their sufferings of all these years.. release the funds to the investors who have uploaded the bonds and bills as such they have...

It is misleading to delay the refund on account of the column that says land has been allotted, when no such land was allotted to any of the investors... just words mentioned in the bond.. nothing more... surely the committee would have investigated the details and know that no land was allotted to the investors...then why take that as a point and delaying the refund...

It's a humble request on behalf of all the investors, in this pandemic situation people have suffered beyond limits ...it would be of immense help and happiness to the investors if the committee take steps to release the money of the investors..

Hope this will be read by someone and reach the committee..

And the investors are hoping and hoping and hoping.........
jaiswarlakshmi8
5 months ago
Paid money back
sadamhussan90
1 year ago
Whomsoever it may concern,

My mother and I were both agents in PACL. Ourself, neighbors, and relatives all acquired policies with terms ranging from 6 to 7 years, but we have not get money from anyone in our circle. My mother passed away three years ago, and some of the policies we submitted for reimbursement on the website,some of their policies are still to be implemented, despite the fact that it has been a long time, and the native neighbors are becoming increasingly irritated as they continue to question all of the agents. How long before you take more and refund our money? We also cannot apply for a refund for anyone who does not have their term or monthly bills. Why is this so? We do have the proper PACL bonds, therefore obviously you must execute everything.

If you wish to preserve the bill from ten years ago, it is difficult and unnecessary. We would like you to look up their data base because the majority of our consumers are illiterate and have spent and invested money on their platform.

However I can see this money only going to return what we had paid not the amount supposed to receive which was mentioned on the bond,  it's fine we can agree that at-least we all need to secure our money.If you look back the money so many peoples tears in that money.Please respect all of them and release the money as soon as possible.Its been 11 years completed and if its prolonged more than this its worst thing in this matter.

I kindly request that the Lodha Committee return all policyholder funds promptly.

Thank you
Sadam Hussan
whats app +971563643376
potash.lavi12
1 year ago
In the bond of PACL there is a column showing Consideration / Plot’s size (Sq. Yd) showing maturity amount and some area of land details. But While applying for PACL refund, there is column “is there any land allotted”?. In this column the people are applied as “YES”. Because the area of land is printed in the BOND. But while checking the status of refund status in the website “https://www.sebipaclrefund.co.in/Refund/Enquiry” it shows that “Your application (PACL certificate No. - U149392265) could not be processed further as you have declared `Yes` for Land allotted field in the claim application.”
This is very bad. Because people didn’t know about the land and they didn’t got any documents related to land. Please give more chance to make corrections and upload the documents
am.mishra70
1 year ago
Money to be refunded as on 31.01.2015 was Rs.22807/- on online checking status of refund on Lodha Committee website it mentions 'Your application could not be processed further as against your certificate land has been allotted as per the data provided by PACL Ltd.' Actually PACL is misguiding the Hon Court No land has been allotted anywhere. Hon Court help for refund Please.
dharmeshpanchal50
2 years ago
I invented in PACL rs 20K . When give refund to me ?. Reply me by mail..
achuparuhash481
2 years ago
Kindly help me to apply for my PACL REFUND
samsungcv123
2 years ago
Sir i cant enter my pacl registration number for rectifying my appliction. Whhy it happens so. Pls help.
raviforjustice
2 years ago
I am reminded of a similar committee set up by the Mumbai High Court to help investors of Lloyds Finance Ltd. To say that there was no transparency in their proceedings would be an understatement. That such a committee had been constituted itself was known only through one of those brokers. On seeking info under the RTI Act got some info to the effect that first they were distributing refunds to those who had invested upto Rs 5k. Then they will take up for those who invested upto 10k and so on. My investment was 15k. I got 3k refund once and that was all. There were others whom I know who had invested similar amounts from my neighborhood. But none of them had got any refund.
nvalkishor
Replied to raviforjustice comment 1 year ago
I invested 10000 fixed deposit for 7 year term and - on online checking status of refund on Lodha Committee website it mentions 'Your application could not be processed further as against your certificate land has been allotted as per the data provided by PACL Ltd.'

The question to SEBI & LODHA committee is : Obviously all investment was in relation to land , By what reason you are not refunding the money that was invested.?? Why do you have to bring these checks to thug and cheat people when you were already sleeping for 13 years until 2013.

You are responsible to refund each investor money or just go away as regulatory board. Let the things be , what they are. Why bring these misery to people in the name of Rule & regulation.

You along with PACL is misguiding common people & I must say that the Hon Court should know that No land has been allotted anywhere. Hon Court & Justice Lodha should intervene and return money where due.
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