Mansa DC cancels 12 cases of mutation of land belonging to Pearls Group
In some positive news for investors, who have been duped of crores of rupees on the pretext of doubling of their money, in the Pearls Group, the district administration has cancelled mutation of 12 pieces of land that its group company, Pearl Infrastructure Limited, owns. This raises the possibility that this land may be disposed of later to pay the duped investors. Records show that the Pearl Group owns 360 acres in Mansa district.
Four mutations have been cancelled in Budhlada and eight in Bareta. The district administration’s action is also in compliance with the Supreme Court order of February 2, 2016, ordering a stay on sale of the land belonging to the group. Unscruplous officials, however, managed to sell this land further using fraudulent means.
An inquiry has also been initiated under Budhlada SDM, Aditya Dechalwal, to fix responsibility of the officials responsible for carrying out these transactions despite the Supreme Court stay. Deputy commissioner Apneet Riyait said, “After discussing the matter with the district attorney, police have been asked to register cases against the errant officers and others, who sold the land using fraudulent means.”
The land holding of the company is spread across Datewas, Phulluwal Dod, Dyalpura, Sirsiwala, Kulana and Kalipur villages in Budhlada tehsil and in Jherianwali and Raipur villages in Sardulgarh tehsil.
Know the scam
In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and investors filed a case in the Supreme Court against Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL) group, accusing it of fraudulently raising ₹45,000 crore from 5.5 crore investors via collective investment schemes.
In February 2013, the Supreme Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the SEBI to investigate and scrutinise the PACL. A year later, the CBI in February lodged a case against two Pearls Group real estate firms for allegedly fraudulently raising ₹45,000 crore from investors.
In addition, 76 FIRs were registered against the groups’s chief managing director (CMD) Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, 65. After two years of investigation, the CBI in January 2016 arrested four of the group’s top officials. According to a Enforcement Directorate statement in 2017, the PACL owns 1,354 properties, with the maximum being in Hoshiarpur at 330.