Mumbai: The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has got a go ahead from the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry to prosecute 71 individuals and 17 defaulting companies in the Rs 5,600 crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam case.
SFIO that focuses on investigating money-laundering cases will now take action against NSEL founder Jignesh Shah and the parent company of the now-defunct spot exchange – 63 moons.
SFIO has also got instructions from the ministry to file winding up petition against at least 17 defaulting companies and asked them to take action against the auditors of all the companies.
In the Order issued on January 15, the ministry said that the SFIO’s investigation report on September 4, 2018 in relation to the case has been approved, allowing the investigative agency to prosecute the entities and persons named in the report.
A report on the Economic Times suggested that the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which is probing the NSEL scam, arrested former CEO Shashidhar Kotian on Thursday. He will be produced in a local court today.
Last month, the agency had submitted a supplementary chargesheet against 63 accused people including three non-defaulting brokers, Jignesh Shah and former NSEL mangaging director Anjani Sinha.
As the situation stands, the corporate affairs ministry has granted sanction to prosecute Shah and others under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), Section 420 (cheating), Section 468 and 471 (forgery), Section 403 (misappropriation of property) and Section 477 A (falsification of account).
Some of the 17 defaulting companies include Lotus Refineries Private Limited, Juggernaut Projects Limited and Mohan Indian Private Limited. SFIO has got authorisation to file winding up petition of all the companies mentioned.
Earlier, the investigative agency had recommended filing of the winding up application under Section 243 of the Companies Act, 1956.
Not just SFIO but multiple agencies including the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Mumbai Police have been probing NSEL over a series of financial irregularities.