BETRAYING THE trust of a majority of depositors, nine members of Gujarat Mercantile Credit Sahkarita Limited (GMCSL) Amanatdar Peedit Sangh, including president Udai Kumar Jaiswal, distributed Rs 5 lakh among themselves while keeping the other members in dark. The Sangh has 200 members.
GMCSL managing director Janak Gandhi is reported to have given them Rs 10 lakh in cash and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as interim relief following directions issued by National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, New Delhi.
About 240 Peedit Sangh members from Indore and 60 from Ujjain had filed complaints before the Commission that GMCSL had not returned Rs 12 crore they had invested in the cooperative institution, which is closed since January 2005. In all, the GMCSL has to pay Rs 128 crore to over 22,000 depositors.
Of the total cash, Rs 5 lakh was given on September 26, 2006, which all the Peedit Sangh members knew about. This money has been put in fixed deposit, while Rs 5 lakh allegedly given secretly on October 14 was disbursed among nine members. At the weekly meeting of Peedit Sangh held at Gandhi Hall garden on Sunday afternoon, retired Professor Shantilal Kothari, retired teacher R K Chouhan and retired bank clerk Ganesh Mukherji confessed that they took the sum as security while other members demanded to know why were they kept in the dark about the acceptance of money.
Their confession came after one-and-a-hour-long resistance when member Mukesh Kothari admitted that he received Rs 19,000 from Jaiswal and Chouhan. Another member, Babulal Gupta, was given Rs 1.30 lakh. The nine members have taken 6.45 per cent of their total deposits kept with GMCSL.
However, Vijay, younger brother of Janak Gandhi, denied giving cash to the members. When contacted, he said they had been issued cheque of Rs 5 lakh (dated October 20).
Apart from Rs 5 lakh that were disbursed clandestinely, the Peedit Sangh has an FD of Rs 5 lakh, cheque of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh collected as membership fee. Each member has paid Rs 1,750 as fee.
The Peedit Sangh, meanwhile, has blamed Gandhis for engineering a split by bribing few members. “Our faith is shaken, but a patch-up exercise is on,” Peedit Sangh convener D K Chaturvedi said.