Plea in SC against Indiabulls Housing for misappropriating 98K cr public money; firm refute charges

Updated: Jun 11, 2019, 17:27 IST | PTI

Petition against Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited for alleged misappropriation of Rs 98,000 crore; allegation bizarre says India Bulls

Plea in SC against Indiabulls Housing for misappropriating 98K cr public money; firm refute charges
Supreme Court

A plea was filed in the Supreme Court Monday seeking legal action against Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited (IHFL), its Chairman and directors for alleged misappropriation of Rs 98,000 crore of public money. India Bulls refuted the charges calling it 'bizarre'.

The petition alleged that money worth thousands of crores were siphoned off by Sameer Gehlaut, the chairman of the firm, and the directors of Indiabulls for their personal use.

Abhay Yadav, the petitioner and one of the IHFL shareholders, alleged that Gehlaut, with the help of one Harish Fabiani - an NRI based in Spain, allegedly created multiple "shell companies" to which IHFL loaned huge sums of money under "bogus and non-existent pretexts".

These companies further transferred the loan amount to other companies which were either run, directed or operated by Gehlaut, his family members or other directors of Indiabulls, the plea alleged.

"This entire chain of scam would have never been possible without the conniving with the auditors, credit rating agencies and concerned officials of the respective government departments," the plea said.

The plea also sought directions to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Centre, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Income Tax Department or the competent authority to restore, protect and conserve the defrauded and misappropriated investors' money.
It alleged that Gehlaut was rich, influential, powerful and has extremely strong political connections and he, in conspiracy with the other directors, could leave the country with the money of investors.

"Chairman Sameer Gehlaut in conspiracy with the other Directors has mercilessly and heinously taken the public money of approximately more than Rs 98,000 crore for their exclusive personal use," the plea said.
It alleged that the "modus-operandi" opted by Gehlaut and the alleged co-conspirators to defraud not only the investors at large but also the public exchequer, was multi-dimensional duly buckled-up with manifold layers of criminal and highly unlawful activities.

"Apparently, the sole purpose of this biggest and huge financial scam was to take the entire public money of the innocent shareholders, PSU Banks and Private Banks, etc. to make it for the criminally exclusive and unlawful purposes of Gehlaut and his family members. Shockingly, Gehlaut and his Particeps Criminis (co-conspirators) did not leave almost any financial enactments to violate," it said.

The plea further claimed that Gehlaut and his wife have also been deliberately involved in taking kickbacks from his alleged borrowers and misled the regulating authorities.

"Gehlaut and his Particeps Criminis have, while advancing the alleged loans to the dummy and shell companies, made various bogus entries while taking the interest on annual basis instead of a monthly basis and by this way neither TDS could have been deducted on timely manner nor even a single penny of late penalty has been paid to the public exchequer at Income Tax Department which resulted in further injury of more than hundreds of crores rupees," it claimed.

The plea further said that while building the dummy and shell companies, around Rs 1,700 crores from unknown sources were used, which was illegal and forbidden by prevention of money laundering act.

"They have also done the gross criminal violation and willful heinous misconduct against the SEBI laws as well by not following of express provision of SEBI & Companies act's Corporate Governance Policy... have also violated the RBI & NHB guidelines and other laws as well," it claimed.

The company officials were the directors, promoters, and beneficiaries of interconnected Non-Banking finance companies at Delhi, Mumbai, Gurugram, the plea said.

India Bulls official statement:

This is in relation to the news item of Writ Petition filed in Supreme Court against Sameer Gehlaut allegedly siphoning off Rs 98,000 crores from Indiabulls Housing Finance. The Writ Petition is filed only today and is not heard by the court.
The total loans on the books of Indiabulls Housing are approx Rs 90,000 crores. The allegation of siphoning off of Rs 98,000 crores is bizarre.

We wish to state that a racket of blackmailers have been trying to extort money from Indiabulls over last 2 months threatening to write complaints to various Govt departments alleging siphoning off of Rs 55,000 crores if Rs 10 crores wasn’t paid to them. Indiabulls did not succumb to pressures of the blackmailers and instead chose to file a FIR against such people on 4th June 2019. When the demands of the person who was the original complainant for alleging siphoning off of Rs 55,000 crores through complaint dated 6th May 2019 were not met, he thereafter tried to extort money in lieu of withdrawing his complaint from the various Govt departments that alleged siphoning off of Rs 55,000 crores. This person was arrested by Police on 7th June, 2019 and various incriminating evidences were collected by Police from his premises. As a retaliation to that arrest, the group of people involved in the blackmailing racket floated another complaint on Whatsapp in name of another individual on 8th June, 2019 addressed to various Govt departments but this time increased the siphoned off figure to Rs 98,000 crores in the complaint. The police proceedings are going on in the case and the court has granted Police custody of individual under arrest for 6 days.

After the Police unearthed the blackmailing and extortion racket, we wrote to various Govt departments on 9th June and apprised them of the complaints dated 6th May 2019 and 8th June 2019 and the modus operandi of the blackmailing racket. One complainant bought 2 shares of Indiabulls Housing and the second complainant who has filed the writ petition in Supreme Court bought 4 shares of Indiabulls Housing on 9th May, 2019 to get covered in the garb of shareholder whistleblowers.
We believe that the impending merger application with Laxmi Vilas Bank made us very easy target for the blackmailers who thought we would be easily blackmailed given the sensitive regulatory process we are going through right now.

We understand that Honorable Supreme Court is not a forum for such allegations of wrongdoings against a specific company and the right forum is appropriate regulatory bodies. The cause of action to go to courts arises when the regulatory bodies have not taken any action even after a reasonable period of time. We believe that the filing of Writ Petition on 10th June, 2019 after circulating a complaint on Whatsapp on 8th June, 2019 without seeking any remedy from regulatory bodies is an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing Police proceedings and a desperate attempt to malign our reputation by eye catchy news mentioning a “Supreme Court Writ” that has only been filed today by a shareholder who bought 4 shares in the company only a month back.

We employ over 30,000 people across the Group and are one amongst the top 25 tax paying and dividend paying private groups in the country. Our board of directors include eminent people like two ex RBI Deputy Governors, retired justices from the Supreme Court and retired senior bureaucrats. We remain determined to break the back of such blackmailing rackets so that nobody in future can use such tactics against Indiabulls.

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