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Sebi bans Sonu Nigam from transferring agricultural land

Sebi bans Sonu Nigam from transferring agricultural land

New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi has barred playback singer Sonu Nigam from disposing or transferring agricultural land in Karjat area in Maharashtra that he had purchased from a company of crisis-ridden PACL group.

Sebi has put several restrictions on PACL, which collected more than Rs 60,000 crore from investors through illegal collective investment schemes over a period of 18 years. The group is not allowed to sell or transfer any of its assets.

Nigam has a farmhouse in Karjat, which is 62 kilometres away from Mumbai.

In its order, Sebi said Nigam has been "prohibited from disposing, transferring, alienating or charging" agricultural land of over 53 acres in Karjat.

The PACL committee, which has been entrusted to sell properties of PACL and use the sale proceeds to refund investors, received a letter in April 2018 from Jan Kalyan Trust informing the committee about the sale deed made and registered on January 15, 2018 in the name of Sonu Agamkumar Nigam for agricultural land situated in Karjat.

As per the letter, the property is of a sister concern of PACL Ltd -- Wital See Marketing Ltd and at the time of purchasing the property payment was made by PACL.

In its submission to the committee in May 2018, PACL said that more than 99 per cent share capital of Wital See Marketing is controlled directly by its 21 associate companies.

Accordingly, Wital See Marketing is an associate company of PACL and the committee has directed that these properties should be attached by the markets regulator.

Apart from Nigam, Wital See Marketing has also been directed to furnish complete details of movable and immovable properties held by them within two weeks, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in dated March 9.

In December 2015, Sebi had ordered attachment of all assets of PACL and its nine promoters and directors for their failure to refund the money due to investors.

Sebi had asked PACL, as also its promoters and directors, to refund the money in an order dated August 22, 2014. The defaulters were directed to wind up the schemes and refund money to the investors within three months from the date of the order.

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