Prayag Group of companies is one of the old companies that were involved in running the Ponzi scheme in the eastern region of the country. Prayag Infotech Hi-Rise (PIHL) had made an offer of redeemable preference shares (RPS) between 2007-2008 and 2011-2012 and mobilized at least Rs. 131.37 crore from over 1.57 lakh investors. The company has raised funds through the issue of shares or securities to more than 49 people without complying with regulatory norms of the Companies Act, 1956. Hence, in September 2016, the company was stated to be running a chit fund scheme where liabilities were being met through deposits.
Capital markets regulator SEBI has asked company directors to jointly and severally return the money collected from investors with an interest rate of 15% per annum in three months. The company and directors have also been barred from the securities markets till the refund process is complete. Once, the refund process is done, the firm and the directors will be restrained from accessing the capital markets for a further period of four years.
Since the company has failed to comply with the directions for refund, SEBI has imposed a fine of Rs. 1 crore on the company and its two directors.
The high court of Kolkata in various writ petitions had appointed a one-man committee of Justice (Retd.) Shailendra Prasad Talukdar for the sale of the companies’ assets and distribution of the sale proceeds.
After completing the investigation of the matter, now the committee has directed the securities and exchange board of India (SEBI) to proceed with the auction of companies’ immovable properties in order to liquidate the assets and repay the investors’ money. The sale of properties including land, buildings, office space, and the commercial site was to take place on 30th June 2022 in an online auction.
After, the completion of all the documentation regarding the auction, the SEBI will then share information regarding the initiation of the refund process. For more information regarding the refund process, visit the official website of Justice S.P. Talukdar Committee at https://justicesptalukdarcommittee.com/.