NEW DELHI: Markets regulator Sebi today asked Samruddha Jeevan Foods India and its directors to refund in three months money collected from investors through unauthorised cattle and goat farm schemes. The company and its directors — Mahesh Kisan Motewar, Vaishali Mahesh Motewar, Ghanshyam Jashbhai Patel and Rajendra Pandurang Bhandar — have also been barred from the capital market for four years. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has begun the probe after receiving complaints about the company agents promising “more than 12 per cent fixed returns and other unusual returns on investments in cattle and goat farms”.
The company was running Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) without obtaining regulatory approvals. A Sebi probe found that the firm was collecting money from the public in order to carry out business of “purchase and rearing of goats/buffaloes’ and also of sheep farming. Under its various schemes, the company was offering to double the money in five and half years, while also promising an amount equivalent to 1.5 times of the contract value as ‘accidental death help’.
The company’s financial statements showed that ‘advance from customers’ in fiscal year 2011-12 stood at over Rs 331 crore, at over Rs 163 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 36 crore in 2009-10. It spent over Rs 56 crore towards ‘advertisement and sales promotion (including commission)’ in 2011-12, Rs 39.5 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 22 crore in 2009-10. In an order passed today, Sebi has the company and its directors to “wind up the existing CIS and refund the money collected by the said company under the schemes with returns which are due to its investors…within a period of three months.”
Thereafter, the firm has to submit a winding up and repayment report within 15 days, including the trail of funds claimed to be refunded, bank account statements indicating repayment to investors among others. In addition, they have been barred from selling any assets of the company, except for the purpose of making refunds to its investors. In case, they fail to comply with the order, Sebi said Samruddha Jeevan and its directors will continue to be barred from the securities market, even after the completion of four years of restrictions imposed on them “till all the CIS are wound up and all the money mobilised through such schemes are refunded to its investors with returns which are due to them.”
Besides, it would make a reference to State Government/ Local Police and register a civil/criminal case against Samruddha Jeevan and would make a reference to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to initiate the process of winding up of the firm.
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