Alchemist Infra Realty Limited- Case Summary
After receiving an anonymous complaint from the investor’s capital markets regulator about Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd illegally raising funds, SEBI started its investigation into the matter in 2011. Securities and Exchange Board of India found that the company was involved in collective investment schemes (CIS) in the name of real estate business and had garnered more than Rs. 1,916 crores.
The company’s investment application forms also stated that it was a part of the ‘Alchemist Group,’ which was involved in diverse activities such as steel, food and beverages, IT, healthcare, media, aviation, real estate, hospitality, education, and tea estate, among others, with an asset base of over Rs 5,000 crore, according to the SEBI probe.
The company was also charging up to 75 percent as development charges from investors towards the purchase of land. During the original investigation, the company declined to submit the information requested by the capital markets regulator, claiming that the regulator lacked jurisdiction and that it did not conduct any CIS activity.
As per the latest update, Alchemist Infra has claimed that it had refunded over Rs. 1127 crore and had to repay only Rs. 789 crore.
The action was taken by SEBI in the matter of affairs
In June 2013, SEBI directed Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd and its directors and promoters to cease all such activities immediately and refund the money collected from public investors within three months as part of a new crackdown on ‘collective investment schemes.’ The company and its five directors have also been barred from accessing the securities market till further direction.
According to the ruling dated June 21, if the company and its directors do not comply with SEBI’s directives, it would face prosecution and a criminal case for “offenses of fraud, deceit, criminal breach of trust, and misuse of public funds.”
The SAT judgment is, however, conditional on the company paying SEBI a sum of one lakh and providing the regulator with the requested information within two weeks, failing which the SEBI order from May 27, 2015, would be reinstated. SEBI, in a judgment dated June 21, 2013, ordered Alchemist to refund approximately Rs. 1,916 crores to investors within three months, as well as cease the program, which was designated as a collective investment scheme.
The SEBI ruling was contested before the SAT. Still, the tribunal affirmed it while extending the refund period by 18 months (to July 2013) and allowing Alchemist to seek an extension if necessary. Alchemist stated in its most recent appeal to SAT that it has returned over 1,127 crores and only had to refund over 789 crores based on bank certificates.
Refund Proceedings will be handled by Justice S. P. Talukdar’s Committee
Individuals from the state of Jharkhand who have invested their hard-earned money in Alchemist Group through various schemes will now receive their money back. The money collected from the sale of companies’ assets and properties has been transferred to the S. P. Talukdar Committee, which was established by the Calcutta High Court on July 2.
It was determined that the committee will initiate the refund procedure. Upon hearing the news, thousands of individuals have regained their smiles, and they are now eager to get their money back as soon as possible.
It has been determined that every day, 250 investors will receive checks for the same amount they invested in the Alchemist Group’s chit-fund schemes. In December of 2015, the committee was formed. A list of investors has been compiled, together with the amount of money they have put up. People who contributed less than Rs 10,000 would receive the cheques in the first wave.
Latest Update: Progress related to Alchemist Infra Refund Proceedings
As it is noted, the number of investors is increasing, so now the One Man Committee has initiated the refund process in phases. Priority will be given to depositors whose investments have matured. Also, individuals who are willing to receive a refund against the principal amount will be given precedence. Such a refund would be completed on the basis of presenting an indemnity bond.
As of December 2021, the company has repaid enlisted investors against 6277 certificates through the assistance provided by the Committee. No new list of claimants has been presented by the company. Individuals who have invested their money and have not yet received any intimation regarding a refund are requested to register a complaint or submit an online application form on the official website of the Justice S. P. Talukdar Committee.
Individuals can also furnish particulars like mobile numbers, bank details, etc., to initiate an online refund process. The Committee will look into the application form and verify all the details. Upon successful verification, money will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of depositors.
Investors/depositors are advised to visit the Committee’s official website to learn more about the refund process.
|In 2019, SEBI found AIRL operating unauthorized Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and ordered a refund of ₹1000 crore (over $1.2 billion) collected from investors. SAT upheld this decision in August 2019.
|No complete refunds have been reported to investors. SAT granted AIRL 18 months in August 2019 to comply with SEBI’s order, ending in February 2021.
|AIRL filed a petition with the Supreme Court in December 2022 challenging the SAT order, but the current status of this petition is unclear.
|News from October 2023 suggests that AIRL submitted a resolution plan for the refund process, but details and implementation specifics are lacking.
|The situation regarding payment refunds from Alchemist Infra Realty Limited remains uncertain. While there are indications of progress, particularly with the submission of a resolution plan, there is no definitive timeline for when investors might receive their funds.