Scammed investors charged at Pearls Group chairman Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and three others outside the district courts on Friday here after a hearing.
Judicial magistrate (first class) Randeep Kumar remanded Rs 45,000-crore-Ponzi-scheme accused Bhangoo, Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh, and Subrata Bhattacharya in three days of police custody in a local cheating case after Bathinda police brought them on production warrants from Delhi state, which had even sent an escort team along.
Bhangoo is chairman-cum-managing director of Pearls Golden Forest (PGF) and Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL); while Sukhdev Singh is MD of PACL; and Gurmeet Singh and Bhattacharya are group directors.
As investors got wind of their coming to the Bathinda courts, many of them reached the complex. When police failed to keep them away, they tried to take the four through the Bakshikhana exit. This is when protesters ran towards the police vehicles and came within a few feet of Bhangoo, raising slogans against him and the Punjab government. Police fear similar trouble on Monday, when the four have another court appearance.
Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) Swapan Sharma said the district police would interrogate them only in a local cheating case registered on the Punjab and Haryana high court direction, since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was already dealing with the Ponzi scheme case.
Faridkot investor Raj Kumar had move the high court, alleging that the Pearls Group management had not returned the money he put into the PACL. Group’s investors from Punjab have long been agitating under the banner of Insaaf Di Awaaz (voice of justice) Organisation to recover their money.
The CBI had caught Bhangoo and the three others this January in the Ponzi-scam case in which the company is said to have cheated 5.5-crore investors. It had registered the case in 2014 on directions from the Supreme Court.