India Markets open in 4 hrs 52 mins

EOW files 2nd chargesheet in NSEL case against 63 entities

Jayshree P. Upadhyay
36 companies and 27 individuals among entities named in the 28,000-page supplementary chargesheet

Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police on Thursday filed a second chargesheet in the ₹5,574 crore National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam, the EOW said.

The 28,000-page supplementary chargesheet names 63 entities, including 36 companies and 27 individuals, EOW said.

The 36 companies include NSEL, its parent company, 63 Moons Technologies Ltd, fully owned unit Indian Bullion Market Association (IBMA) and 22 members who did not honour their payout obligations.

Some of the group companies of the defaulters who were recipients of the money have been named along with the three non defaulting trading members or brokers. These entities have been charged under the offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy among others.

The case involves a settlement crisis and payment default of ₹5,574 crore that led to a loss to 13,000 investors. The chargesheet is based on the forensic audit and digital audit commissioned by government of Maharashtra. It includes details of 509 bank accounts and statement of 520 witnesses.

NSEL welcomed the development as the chargesheet names the defaulting counter-parties in the case. “In August 2018, the exchange has filed a writ petition, No. 3416 of 2018, in Bombay High Court praying that the final chargesheet in the matter be filed at the earliest in the interest of truth and justice. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on 7 January 2019. We request the EOW Mumbai to file the final chargesheet in the matter as early as possible so that trial can commence and the real culprits are brought to book,” said a spokesperson for NSEL.

This is the second chargesheet in the case. The first was filed in 2014 against seven entities.

For the first time, three brokerage firms , Anand Rathi Commodities Ltd, Geofin Comtrade Ltd, and India Infoline Commodities Ltd, have been charged for misselling, misrepresenting, and cheating investors. The officials of these three brokerage firms were arrested in 2015.

In an emailed statement a spokesperson for IIFL said, “IIFL Commodities Limited has not received any information about the reported filing of the chargesheet by EOW Mumbai in the NSEL matter before the MPID court. As and when it is received, we will consult our lawyers and take appropriate legal steps to defend our position before the court.”

Spokespersons for Geofin and Anand Rathi did not offer comments immediately .

EOW is also probing the role of 300 brokerage firms in the case for violations of provisions of the Forward Contracts Regulation Act as they traded in paired contracts.

EOW is also set to attach assets of brokers based on their alleged role in the scam. The attachment of assets is after NSEL filed a criminal writ petition in Bombay high court on 29 November against Maharashtra government. Mint had reported on 27 December that the court has already issued a notice for attachment of broker assets.

In the petition, NSEL said EOW was acting in partial and biased manner as it has failed to act against the brokers and has not attached any of their assets so far. The plea quoted a division bench order of October that observed there was “no justification for respondents (Maharashtra government) for not attaching the properties of the brokers”.