Parl panel grills Sebi chief over delay in refunding PACL investors

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New Delhi, Mar 16 (PTI) A Parliamentary panel on Tuesday grilled Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi over the delay in returning money to the investors of PACL as well as its alleged lacklustre approach in addressing investor grievances with respect to Sahara, Saradha and other cases, according to sources.

Tyagi was summoned by the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions following a representation from Gourav Kumar Soni, an individual who had invested in the schemes floated by PACL. He had alleged that Sebi acted in a high-handed manner in refunding money to investors of Pulse Agro Corporation Limited (PACL), as per the meeting notice.

PACL had illegally raised money from the public in the name of agriculture and real estate businesses. Sebi, which regulates collective investment schemes, found that the company had collected more than Rs 60,000 crore such illegal schemes. The watchdog has also taken actions to refund money to the investors.

Sources who were present at the meeting said that Tyagi was grilled by various members of the committee over the regulator's lacklustre approach and its high handedness in refunding the money to PACL investors.

Members of the panel also rebuked the Sebi chief for the delay in settling the accounts of investors of PACL and also those who had invested in schemes floated by Sahara group and Saradha, they added.

The sources said the panel members also made it clear to Tyagi that he should not refrain from appearing before the committee as he had done in the past on two occasions .

The Parliamentary Committee on Petitions is perhaps the only Parliamentary panel which has the mandate to directly communicate with people and citizens can approach it with their problems.

The panel can summon government officials and in case they fail to appear, then that could amount to breach of privilege.

Sebi had set up a committee headed by former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha following a Supreme Court order to refund money to investors in the matter of PACL Group.

Apart from PACL case, Sebi has also passed orders against Sahara group and Saradha with respect to refunding investors' money. PTI JTR RAM