Illegal sale of assets: Pearls Group owner Bhangu’s son-in-law held

Updated on May 29, 2021 01:47 AM IST
The accused arrested from Mohali with property-related documents; will be produced in a court in Ferozepur district on Saturday
A file photo of Pearls Group owner Nirmal Singh Bhangu who is in jail in connection with <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>48,000 crore ponzi scam.
A file photo of Pearls Group owner Nirmal Singh Bhangu who is in jail in connection with 48,000 crore ponzi scam.
ByGagandeep Jassowal, Jalandhar

The Punjab Police’s special investigation team (SIT) on Friday arrested Har Satinder Singh Hayer, prime accused in the case involving alleged illegal sale of properties of PACL India Limited, also known as Pearls Group, worth hundreds of crores despite a Supreme Court ban.

Officials said Hayer, son-in-law of Pearls Group owner Nirmal Singh Bhangu who is in jail in connection with a ponzi scam involving over 48,000 crore, was arrested from Mohali with some property-related documents.

A SIT member said he will be produced in a court in Ferozepur district’s Zira town on Saturday. The SIT, constituted by Ferozepur range deputy inspector general (DIG) Hardial Singh Mann, comprises Tarn Taran superintendent of police (headquarters) and deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) of Zira and Jalalabad in Fazilka.

In April this year, the SIT filed a chargesheet against multiple accused in a Ferozepur court, saying despite the SC’s 2016 ban order, the PACL and its associated companies started disposing of land worth hundreds of crores in and outside India.

As many as 57 people, including company officials and family members of Bhangu, were booked on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the Indian Penal Code at the Zira police station in July last year.

Several arrests were made by the police on the complaint of one Pardeep Singh of Bhadson in Patiala district.

In December 2015, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had ordered attachment of all assets of PACL and its nine promoters and directors for their failure to refund money to investors. A panel headed by Justice RM Lodha (retired) had initiated the process of refund to the investors.

The SIT chargesheet

The SIT in its chargesheet claimed that Hayer and his wife Barinder Kaur had given multiple powers of attorney to Australia-based Sarabjit Singh, alias Sebby Sanghera, a trusted aide of Hayer, to sell the company properties in Australia that were purchased through the money invested by the public. One of the powers of attorney was for a property worth 6-crore Australian dollars. These papers were prepared in Zira.

Financial transactions were also detected between Hayer and Sanghera. Hayer along with other family members also sold illegally many PACL properties outside Punjab by giving power of attorney, it was found.

It is also alleged that Hayer allegedly sold a prime company property in Banur town of Mohali district.

According to the chargesheet, financial transactions were also made between Manoj Kumar, one the 57 accused in the property sale case who was arrested in April this year, and Barinder Kaur and others. Also, Dhillon Empire, an associate company of PACL, kept operating its accounts, it is alleged.

“Another accused Munish Jakhar got registered land deeds of 112 flats of Nirmal Chhaya project despite the court ban and gave power of attorney of many commercial properties,” reads the chargesheet.

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