Rajasthan HC serves notice to Union minister Gajendra Singh in alleged case of fraud by financial firm

It also asked for a factual report in the alleged misappropriation of funds worth Rs 900 crore in a credit society called Sanjeevani Credit Society, in which the Union minister was once a promoter

BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (IANS) 
BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (IANS)

Prakash Bhandari

The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday asked for a factual report in the alleged large-scale misappropriation of funds worth Rs 900 crore in a credit society called Sanjeevani Credit Society, in which Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was once involved as a promoter. Shekhawat has also been served a notice in the case.

The Rajasthan High Court has in the past too served Shekhawat notice in this matter.

One of the investors, Narendra Singh, moved a petition in the High Court that he had deposited Rs 1 lakh as fixed deposit in January 2017. But even after maturity, Sanjeevani Credit Society did not pay him the maturity amount. On inquiry, he discovered that the society was unable to repay him the maturity amount and was involved in a multi-crore scam.

The petitioner tried to lodge an FIR by approaching the Jodhpur police commissioner which was not entertained, following which he moved the Jodhpur’s munsiff magistrate court. He lodged a complaint against the founder-director of the society, Vikram Singh. The court accepted the plea under section 153 (c) of CRPC and asked the Mahamandir police station of Jodhpur to investigate the matter and report back to the court.

The police registered an FIR after six months in October 2020, but it did not take any action against the defaulting society. The petitioner, Narendra Singh, then moved a petition in the High Court following which the court has asked for a full factual report to be submitted in the matter.

Union minister Shekhawat was a business partner in the society with the main promoter Vikram Singh. There were official transactions between Shekhawat and Vikram Singh. Later, Shekhawat severed his relationship with Vikram Singh before becoming a member of the Lok Sabha.

A Jaipur court had ordered an investigation against Shekhawat but a High court order stayed the lower court order. But it served notices to both Shekhawat and his wife Naunand Kunwar.

The petitioners in the case have sought the appointment of a receiver or a forensic auditor and demanded an investigation by central agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The petitioners have also sought directions to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies to act as per the mandate of the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002, and make an order of repayment of the money with interest.

They have demanded directions to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies-cum-Competent Authority appointed under Section 7 (1) of the Banning of Unregulated Deposits Schemes Act, 2019, to act as per the mandate of the said Act and make an order of provisional attachment of properties of the alleged fraudsters with immediate effect and get the provisional attachment absolute as per Section 14 (1) of the Act.

The petitioners have also questioned the credibility of the investigation by the SOG into the matter, wherein none of these 17 people has been made accused in the chargesheet.

The court has listed the matter for next hearing on January 3.

Vikram Singh allegedly embezzled large funds of the society and deposited it in several other companies. He did not pay the depositors their money on maturity of their fixed deposits.

The state government has decided to bring in laws against the working of such societies that have allegedly looted over Rs 5000 crore of the public money.

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Published: 23 Dec 2020, 5:42 PM