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‘Deposits returned to 3,243 investors in IMA’

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₹4.92 crore paid with maximum of ₹50,000 per depositor: Competent Authority tells HC

In a relief to a small section of investors in I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group of Companies, the Competent Authority (CA) on Thursday told the High Court of Karnataka that it has returned either full or partial amount of their deposited sum to 3,243 investors by way of bank transfer.

The amount to be returned, with the permission of a special court, was capped at a maximum of ₹50,000 as the total amount available with the CA is only ₹5.3 crore, and has distributed ₹4.92 crore to the 3,243 claimants starting from the lowest amount claimed, the CA informed the court.

These aspects were disclosed in the status report, submitted before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice M.G. Shukure Kamal during the hearing on PIL petitions through which the court is monitoring the progress of the investigation of criminal cases and process of providing relief to investors under the provisions of the the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments (KPIDFE) Act, 2004.

With this, some of the claimants would have received the total amount deposited by them with the IMA and some partial amount up to ₹50,000 of their total deposits, government advocate Vijayakumar A. Patil told the Bench.

Following this, the Bench observed that perhaps this is the first case in which the investors/ depositors are getting back at least a portion of their deposited amount under the provisions of the KDIDFE Act.

Meanwhile, senior IAS officer Harsh Gupta, the Special Officer and Competent Authority under KPIDFE Act for IMA and other scam cases, said in the report that wrong details of bank accounts were found in 15,000 claims when test transfer of ₹1 was made to the accounts of claimants to verify the account details.

While the errors in 12,000 of 15,000 have been rectified, the errors in the remaining 3,000 claims can rectified only after the claimants provide correct details of accounts, the report stated adding that only 300 claims were reject for want of proper documents of the total 65,258 claims.

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‘Decide on Baig’s properties’

The High Court termed as “erroneous” the approach of the State government that it has to wait till the Central Bureau of Investigation submits the final report on the investigation into IMA scam case to decide whether to attach the properties of R. Roshan Baig, former MLA, who is arraigned as one of the accused in the case.

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It was informed to the Bench that the CA had written to the government on requirement of attaching properties of Mr. Baig, and the government in turn had sought a report from the CBI on Mr. Baig’s role in the scam. However, the CBI said it would be able to provide details only on completion of the investigation.

When government counsel Vijayakumar A. Patil said the government will have to wait till the CBI submits its final report to decide on attachment of Mr. Baig’s properties, the Bench disagreed with the stand and directed the Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) take a decision on attachment under Section 3 of the KPIDFE Act by April 16. The Bench said the properties may not be in existence if the government waits till CBI’s final report.

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