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HC restrains firm’s directors from leaving country

The Madras High Court has restrained the directors of Disc Assets Lead India Limited, which is allegedly involved in a Rs 1,130 crore investment scam, from leaving the country until further orders.

The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, recently passed an interim order on a contempt plea moved by a depositor to punish the directors for not complying with a court order directing them to submit all relevant property documents to a court-appointed committee.

C Manishankar, Additional Advocate General, submitted that there was a possibility that the directors “may leave the country to frustrate or delay the attempts of the Committee constituted by this court to liquidate the dues of depositories by disposal of the assets of the company”.

Recording the submission, the bench issued contempt notice, saying “… we deem it appropriate to issue an order of injunction restraining the respondents or any of them from leaving the country for a period of two months from date or until further orders of this court, whichever is earlier.”

The bench then posted the matter for further hearing to June 4.

The court had earlier said it found no ground to modify its order appointing a committee to settle dues of over 12 lakh depositors who had put more than Rs 1,137 crore with the firm for purchase of plots over 11 years ago.

The court had in October last year appointed retired Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar as the head of a nine-member committee.

It had then said it shall function as the administrator of the company, facing action by the SEBI for some violation.

The company had in 2006 floated schemes for purchase, development and maintenance of agricultural land by way of instalment payment and cash down plans.

A total of over 12 lakh customers had invested more than Rs 1,137 crore in the Madurai-based estate company’s schemes, but they were neither alloted the plots nor refunded the deposit money.

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