Sebi asks banks to transfer money available in accounts of PACL#39;s 640 group entities to its a/c


In a bid to recover investors’ money, Sebi has ordered banks to transfer to its account all the money available in the bank accounts of 640 group entities of PACL Ltd by Wednesday.

The markets regulator in September 2016 had ordered freezing of bank accounts as well as demat and mutual fund holdings of these entities.

In a directive to all banks on Thursday, Sebi has asked them to remit the entire amount available in the banks and fixed deposits accounts of 640 group entities of PACL to the regulator’s accounts by June 2.

It, further, said that attachment of the bank accounts as well as other accounts of these entities would continue.

PACL had raised Rs 49,100 crore from nearly 5 crore investors that it needs to refund along with promised returns, interest payout and other charges, which took the total amount due to over Rs 60,000 crore.

The group, which had raised money from the public in the name of agriculture and real estate businesses, was found by Sebi to have collected these funds through illegal collective investment schemes over a period of 18 years.

It had purchased lands in the name of its group or associate companies.

A committee headed by retired Justice R M Lodha initiated the process of refunds in phases for investors, who had invested in PACL.

The committee successfully effected refunds to more than 12.7 lakh investors, with claims up to Rs 10,000, aggregating to Rs 438.34 crore as on March 2021.

In a separate notice on Thursday, Sebi ordered attachment of properties related to PACL. The properties being attached are land parcels located at Banur in Punjab.

The attachment order came after Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Punjab, informed the committee about the properties belonging to PACL. Therefore, the committee directed Sebi’s recovery officer to attach these properties.

Earlier in December 2015, Sebi had attached various bank, demat accounts and mutual fund holdings of PACL and its promoters as well as directors after they failed to pay dues.

PACL and its promoters as well as directors were asked by Sebi to refund the investors’ money in an order passed in August 2014. The defaulters were directed to wind up the schemes and refund money to the investors within three months from the date of the order.