In a stunning move on Monday, the state home department gave permission to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to attach properties owned by the embattled Yash Birla, like the Birla House, Malabar Hill, plots opposite Centaur Hotel in Juhu and Mahim and bank accounts of related companies.
Meanwhile, Birla and five others, who were chargesheeted last month for their involvement in a multi-crore financial scam related to Birla Power Solutions Ltd (BPSL) have filed bail applications in the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Investors (MPID) court.
An FIR was registered in 2013 against BPSL and accused Yash Birla, PVR Murthy, YP Trivedi, Rajesh Shah, Upkar Kohli, Mahendra Singh Arora, Ashish Mahendrakar, Tushar Dey, Anant Vardhan and Manish Malani under sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 120 B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and other MPID sections.
Promising attractive interest rates on fixed deposits, BPSL had collected investments to the tune of Rs 300 crore from over 150 investors. The EOW had arrested several directors of the company, including managing director PVR Murthy. Last month it filed a supplementary charge sheet in the matter naming Birla along with the others.
The police claim BPSL diverted more than Rs 180 crore collected from investors to six other companies under the Yash Birla Group through multiple transactions involving different banks. The money was collected on the pretext of starting a power plant in the state.
Earlier in March, the state home department had given permission to EOW to attach properties related to the Yash Birla Group in Kemps Corner, an apartment in Nepean Sea Road, a plot in Oshiwara and an apartment on Carter Road. But the EOW realised that the properties had huge amounts of loan pending.
On November 24, EOW was again given permission to attach Birla House, a 4,525 square metre plot in Juhu owned by Lakshmi Properties, a 2,789 square metre plot in Mahim, a demat account of Yash Birla, BPSL’s demat accounts and other accounts of related companies namely Godavari, Sharesons Investments and Trading Private Ltd and Nivedh.
In the bail application Birla claims that he has never approached any investor nor represented BPSL. He has also mentioned that he resigned from the post of non-executive director of the company on December 27, 2012 and he never looked into the day-to-day affairs of BPSL. Also, he was not a signatory of the company account and was not paid remuneration of any sort.
Birla further claims that he has always been cooperating with the investigation and has made sincere efforts to settle the dues of the investors. The matter is a simple case of failure of a company, which was closed down due to its own financial constraints, he added.