Agri gold benami assets seized
A division bench on Hyderabad High Court on Saturday ordered the AP government to immediately seize the 70 newly identified properties of Agri Gold and issue the notification within a day or two. The bench directed the CID to find out whether funds were diverted through benami names or through suitcase companies.
AP CID officials on Friday informed the high court that the directors of Agri Gold Group of Companies have revealed during custodial interrogation that they had 70 more properties under benami names.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice SV Bhatt was hearing a petition by the Telangana Agri Gold Customers and Agents Welfare Association represented by its president A Ramesh Babu, seeking probe either by the CBI or the Enforcement Directorate into the Agri Gold deposits scam.
Additional advocate-general of AP Dammalapati Srinivas submitted that after their arrest, the chairman and directors of the company revealed details during the custodial interrogation of 70 new properties which are under benami names other than properties attached so far. He said that during the probe it was revealed that the management had diverted Rs 10 crore of deposits. The bench said that since the beginning of the case, they were insisting on the arrest of the directors. But the probing agency had dodged the case. Had they arrested the accused immediately and there would have been a chance of unearthing several properties and money allegedly diverted by the management.
Observing that the chairman of the company has cheated the court by concealing the details of properties, the bench pointed out that Rs10 crore was a small amount and suspected diversion of huge amounts.
Srinivas said that several depositors lodged cases against the company following the bouncing of cheques issued for repayment of Rs700 crore.
Warning the company management of severe consequences for concealing the property details, the bench said that even now they had an opportunity to disclose the details voluntarily.
On Friday, the Hyderabad High Court had directed the TS CID to take immediate steps to arrest the directors of Akshaya Gold Company. Counsel for the petitioner, IV Radhakrishna Murthy, said that it was another scam like Agri Gold and the company had collected Rs 600 crore from depositors in both states.
The bench made it clear that no one could stop the TS CID from arresting the accused in the Akshaya Gold case, the Bench said if the CID delayed arrests it would result in what happened in the Agri Gold case. The Bench asked CID authorities of both States to oppose bail petitions of the accused in lower courts duly informing that the High Court was monitoring the investigation. The bench adjourned the hearing for two weeks.