21 months on, IMA depositors to get partial refund from today | Bengaluru News – Times of India
About 3,500 of 11,492 depositors eligible for payout up to Rs 50,000 will receive refund in their bank accounts by Friday evening, said Harsh Gupta, special officer and competent authority in the IMA Ponzi case.
On June 10, 2019, IMA founder Mansoor Ali Khan released a video, alleging that former minister R Roshan Baig took Rs 400 crore from him and refused to return it. He had alleged that Baig promised to bail him out by using his influence in the JD(S)-Congress government. Both Khan and Baig were arrested and they have since secured bail.
The competent authority appointed in the IMA case received 65,258 claim applications from depositors with a total payout of Rs 2,695 crore. Since many depositors had received profit payouts before the scam was unearthed, the net payable was reduced to Rs 1,372 crore.
Gupta said, “The hitch was that the total worth of the confiscated assets of IMA was Rs 475 crore. The special court hearing the case has confirmed the attachment of properties worth only Rs 6.5 crore. We could not return money to all depositors.”
The court has ordered settling of claims up to Rs 50,000 with priority given to depositors with the lowest investment. Since there are 11,492 depositors eligible for payout up to Rs 50,000, the authority needs Rs 32 crore. With Rs 6.5 crore in hand, it has decided to pay 3,500 investors in the first instalment.
Depositors hope to get full investment
Other depositors will get their money back as and when the court confirms pending attachment of properties,” said Harsh Gupta, special officer and competent authority in the IMA Ponzi case.
Sources said the CBI, which is investigating the case, will identify more properties for attachment as many politicians and bureaucrats are under the scanner. The CBI has already questioned Baig, two IPS officers and an IAS officer. “I’ve seen the toughest time of my life and I prefer to deal with the case legally. I do not offer comments since as my lawyers have advised against it,” said Baig.
The development has brought hope among the depositors. “We may get back our full investment,” said Kareem Pasha, a depositor.
Taking note of the procedural constraints involved in the case, Gupta has suggested the government set up a permanent competent authority with a court and lawyers for handling Ponzi scams. The CID, too, should have a separate KPID (Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments) cell to investigate Ponzi scams.
The state government recently amended the KPID Act to investigate complaints in fraudulent transactions and attach properties of the fraudsters. “Some 120 Ponzi scams have been registered in the recent past, but assets have been attached in only 45 cases,” Gupta said.