SC appointed Lodha Committee to sell PACL’s assets

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Who: Lodha Committee to sell PACL’s assets
What: Appointed by Supreme Court
When: 2 February 2016

Supreme Court on 2 February 2016 appointed a committee under former Chief Justice RM Lodha to sell assets of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL) and refund 49 thousand crore rupees to the investors.

The investors invested in the firm’s collective investment scheme (CIS) that was deemed illegal by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

A bench headed by Justice Anil Dave said that the title deeds of various lands belonging to PACL should be handed over by the CBI to the SEBI. The court in its direction said that SEBI will take appropriate steps to ensure their sale.

It also directed the panel to decide on the modalities of sale, but hinted it would be via auction.

It also directed the PACL not to accept any deposit from the public and restrained any court from interfering with sale proceedings. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 2 August 2016.

Earlier, the SEBI passed a refund order against the various group companies of PACL after finding them guilty of illegitimately pooling funds from the public through a collective investment scheme.

The plea was filed by PACL Customers and Employees Association seeking a direction to the SEBI to initiate proceedings against PACL for allegedly swindling around 500 crore rupees from various investors in Kerala.