Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) In a first, thousands of investors from across India who were duped by PACL Ltd of crores of rupees will take out a protest march to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) headquarters here on February 26 to demand their money back.
Rallying under the banner of Janlok Pratishthan, these investors of erstwhile Pearls Infrastructure Projects will march to the SEBI headquarters in the Bandra Kurla Complex to demand their money, said its President Sunanda Kadam.
“The SEBI has consistently failed to protect small investors, including those of PACL, who have been duped out of their hard earned monies. Small depositors are at the receiving end as the SEBI is proving lax in safeguarding our interests from defaulting companies like PACL,” Kadam told IANS.
Around 200,000 protesters are expected to rally to condemn the “inaction of SEBI which has just become a bureaucratic entity and failed to check increasing financial frauds and Ponzi schemes in the country”, she added.
Kadam said after the real estate development company PACL’s fraud came to light, investors group Janlok Pratishthan had moved the court. The Supreme Court had constituted a committee under Justice R.M. Lodha.
It also ruled that the properties of PACL be auctioned and the proceeds utilised to repay PACL investors with interest within six months.
She claimed that even two years after the apex court ruling, PACL had deposited only Rs 370 crore with the committee, and that the Supreme Court orders had been flouted in the process.
The Janlok Pratishthan later learnt that PACL had sold a luxury hotel in Australia and its proceeds of around Rs 400 crore remained blocked in an escrow account.
However, the SEBI has not initiated concrete steps to recover the money and ensure refunds to nearly six crore PACL investors so far, Kadam rued.