The CBI has booked a company and its directors for allegedly cheating over 1.5 lakh investors in Tamil Nadu to the tune of over Rs 1,500 crore by offering lucrative returns on their investments, the officials said on Friday.
The agency registered an FIR against Madurai-based Parivar Dairies And Allied Limited and its promoters Basant Lal Sharma, Rakesh Singh Narwaria, Ahibaran Singh, Chandra Bhan Yadav, Neeraj Singh, Banu Pratap Singh, all residents of Gwalior.
Besides them, Alwar resident Pradeep Kumar Sharma and Madurai based Dheivam were also booked under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and cheating, an official said.
The action of the CBI came on the directions of Madurai bench of the Madras High Court which asked the agency to take over the investigation, considering interstate ramifications of the case.
It was alleged in the petition before the high court that the company had lured over 1.5 lakh investors collecting over Rs 1,500 crore.
The accused kept coming to Madurai to lure depositors through various investment meetings, it alleged.
It is alleged that the company which collected several crore from people did not redeem their deposits from 2014 and close down in October 2015 leaving the investors in the lurch.
A similar case against the company was also brought before Madhya Pradesh High Court which had handed over the investigation of the case to the CBI, the court noted.
"It is seen from the records that this case has interstate ramifications and also fraud has been committed across different states. The accused persons, who are said to be living in Delhi, have not been arrested by the respondent police (Tamil Nadu police) for the last two years," the court said.
It noted that the accused belonged to North India and they had not only cheated investors in Tamil Nadu but also in other states.
"...It will be more appropriate if an agency which could have a national reach across the country will be able to effectively investigate the case," it said.
The court said the case involved the interest of lakhs of innocent depositors who have lost their hard earned money.
"The accused persons having cheated such a large number of people are moving around freely without any effective action being taken against them," it said.
The bench said it reposed its confidence in the CBI to immediately take up the investigation and bring the accused to book besides recovering the amount to be distributed to innocent depositors.