PACL Refund Status Information
|Refunds Paid Till 2019||1,13,352 claim applications credited with refunds|
|Refunds Still Left||Approx. 59 crores claimants|
Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL) was a real estate development company which was involved in a scam worth crores. Pearls was declared a fraud company by SEBI India in 2015 and currently the refunds process is going on with the 2nd round of refunds registration in line.
Time taken by SEBI to Initiate PACL Refunds Process
Many of us are obviously aware of the fact that any governmental proceeding takes time to bring things to reality and if it is a scam where poor people are duped of their hard earned money, then the process is definitely going to be complicated. When we talk about the PACL refunds process which is still under investigation by SEBI India, then we have to say that process is uselessly being extended for no reason. Pearls got blacklisted in 2015 only and we are in 2019 today, but still all the 60 crores investors have not been refunded. 59, 98, 86, 648
It is very surprising that an institution like SEBI, India’s market regulator has failed to achieve the goal of refunding around 60 crores investors in 4 years. Only the investors with Principal Invested Amount of not more than Rs. 2,500 have been refunded but the count of these investors is very low. So, upon calculation we can find out that a larger volume of investors is still to be paid and SEBI needs to speed up the process.
Poor Investors Committing Suicides and Protesting
- Suicides and Protests by Investors: A poor person invests in a property available at lower prices thinking that it would yield him some benefit or may be he can better his condition by using that property in a productive way. But then fraud companies like PACL come and convince the innocent people to invest with them and all that the poor investors are left with is tears and anger. That’s the fate of the PACL investors right now who are still waiting for their refunds.
- In between this ongoing refunds process, numerous investors committed suicide because of the high stress level that is caused by the much delayed refunds process going on at snail’s pace.
- Others who didn’t take the extreme step are staging protests to reach out to the government but their plea is still unheard. Many dharna campaigns, protests at Ram Leela Maidan and processions were taken out by the affected investors to address their sad story of being cheated by Pearls and now by SEBI as the refunds have still not reached them.
- But the worst part is, all the protests, campaigns and suicides committed by the investors seem to go in vain because SEBI and the Indian government have not reacted to this grim situation swiftly, rather, the wait for PACL refunds has become never ending.
- Agents threatened to death by Investors: What has come as a huge shock in this whole scenario is that some investors have also tried to threaten the agents who persuaded them to invest in PACL. These agents were petrified and couldn’t come out of their houses. Threatening agents is of absolutely no use and this will not get you your refunds in any way. Investors awaiting refunds can always ask for guidance from agents but make sure you don’t hand over them any of your documents.
PACL Properties Seized but where is the money?
|List of PACL Properties||Amount Recovered|
|PACL FDRs in 23 Banks||1121 FDRs|
|Systematic Venture Capital Trust||Rs. 16, 86, 98,766|
|Recovery from PACL Hotels||Rs. 72, 37,393|
|Sheraton Mirage Hotel, Gold Coast, Australia||Rs.8,89,34,14,000|
- After Pearls was blacklisted, SEBI India started an inquiry against the company and it was found out that using the money invested by PACL investors, this real estate company bought a lavish property in the Australian continent.
- The investigating body, Lodha Committee asked SEBI to file a petition in the Australian Federal Court asking the Australian Government to sell the PACL properties and assets in the continent and deliver the money collected to the market regulator.
- In July 2018, the Australian Court passed a judgment accepting the petition and all the properties of PACL were sold and SEBI received more than Rs. 1400 crores from the Australian sale proceeds.
- Pearls Group also had its assets located in these Indian territories – Goa, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Haryana. All the properties available here were auctioned and the sale proceeds generated more than Rs. 17 crores.
- The question here arises, “Where has the money gone?” Even after the accumulation of such a big amount, SEBI is unable to refund all the investors in 4 long years.
Major Delay in PACL Refunds Process
|PACL Refunds Registration|
|1st Round||Began in Jan 2018 & ended in Oct 2018|
|2nd Round||Ongoing Process; Began in Feb 2019|
|Last Date for SEBI PACL Login||31st July, 2019|
- The first round of PACL refunds finally commenced in January 2018 and all the investors with Principal Amount of up to Rs. 2,500 were refunded by October 2018. It is very astonishing that even after recovering ample amount of money from various PACL assets, SEBI India refunded only these few claimants.
- Rest of the investors were outraged and they criticized the government and SEBI alike for delaying the refunds process. Seeing the government and SEBI on backfoot, the remaining investors arrived at a common consensus that they will not vote in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and also gave the “Pehle Bhugtan, Phir Matdaan”
- This came as a shock wave to the government and they instructed SEBI India to refund the remaining investors as soon as possible. Post which, SEBI India announced the second round of refunds. The last date to apply for PACL refunds is July 31st, 2019 and investors with claim amount more than Rs. 2500 can apply for refund claims registration.
People Suffering to Apply for PACL Refunds
Though SEBI has started the refunds registration process but there is no end to the plight of the people waiting for their refunds to get credited. These poor claimants are finding it very hard to get their money back. Here is what they have to put up to:
- The worst part about applying online for refunds is that the SEBI PACL Refunds Registration and Login page shows errors while registering and the website is down and crashes most of the time.
- This led to SEBI extending the date for PACL refunds registration because many people could not apply due to this absolutely inefficient website.
- What’s even more displeasing is that many of the documents cannot be submitted for filing refunds. People are directed to get only specific documents such as PAN Card which all of the claimants do not have.
- Also, people are facing problems regarding how they can apply for refunds in the name of their family members who are now dead.
- Some investors have also lost their receipts through which they could have applied. SEBI is required to provide any productive solution to such people.
This is how the poor is made to suffer in our country. First they are duped of their hard earned money by a company who was promoted by many famous celebrities and politicians and when it is declared a fraud and these people demand their money back, then they have to encounter such troubles. This is becoming the face of India. We can see the Sahara case pending till now and the next in line is PACL refunds whose date was extended only after SEBI received so many complaints and threats from claimants that they will not vote in upcoming elections. Now that the elections are over, God only knows how much does SEBI India needs to refund the remaining investors.