Ramakanta Biswas

In a remarkable order, the Orissa High Court has directed the competent authority to return the money to investors duped by chit fund companies maintaining first come first release basis.

A single bench comprising Justice Biswanath Rath passed the order on March 29 while hearing a petition by chit fund company GLP Developers Ltd and others. 

In their pleas, GLP Developers Ltd and others had earlier expressed willingness to repay money to the investors after facing hassles and untoward threats, assault on office bearers by incensed depositors.  

M Kanungo, appearing on behalf of the ponzi companies, contended that despite the direction of the HC dated April 28, 2017 for release of benefits in favour of the depositors, the State Authorities indulged in dilly-dally tactics for their own gain and to the risk of the petitioners.

After going through the details, the HC found the competent authority has already kept a sum of Rs 48,16,49,527 in its pocket. 

“It is unfortunate to note that even after not finding any order of attachment through the CBI proceeding, instead of attempting to get concrete information on the claim of the Banks and taking steps as appropriate, unfortunately the State Authorities have proceeded for recovery proceeding under the OPDR Act in an attempt possibly to wash their hands,” the court said.

The Court observed, ‘the approach of the Competent Authority is not appearing to be genuine and on the other hand this Court finds, there is dilly dally tactics.’ 

“It is, at this stage of the matter, this Court directs the competent authority in the scrutiny of the application of the valid and identified depositors, to make an attempt to release the amount maintaining first come first release basis,” the court ordered. 

The next hearing has been scheduled for April 29, 2022.