Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Nov 01, 2002
`SHCIL officials colluded to cause wrongful loss'
KOLKATA, Oct. 31
AN affidavit filed in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate here by a former employee in connection with the March 2001 situation prevailing on the Calcutta Stock Exchange has suddenly resurfaced to haunt Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd.
The affidavit hints at the "wrongful loss" that is alleged to have been caused by certain officials of SHCIL, a broking firm identified with Mr Harish Chandra Biyani (one of the three main accused) and Mr Dinesh Dalmia, promoter of the DSQ group of companies.
Filed by Mr M. Ramesh, former Manager (Vigilance and Security), it has already led SHCIL to engage the consultancy firm Haribhakti & Co for conducting a fact-finding mission.
The affidavit traces back to the time when Mr Biyani applied to SHCIL, Kolkata, for opening a beneficiary account. It snakes its way through various developments and goes on to suggest that Mr Biyani's interests were protected even while SHCIL suffered monetary loss.
When contacted, Mr K.C. Bandopadhyay, MD of SHCIL, said the company was aware of the affidavit and had been trying to ascertain its truthfulness.
"We have appointed a reputed consultant and are waiting for its report. We will not be in a position to comment before we get it," he said.
The document, in possession of Business Line, also indicates that on March 2, 2001, Mr Dinesh Dalmia (identified as `Chairman, DSQ Industries') had visited SHCIL, Mumbai, along with Mr Ravindra Biyani (Director, Biyani Securities).
The duo "requested the officials at SHCIL, for carrying out a Cash on Payout transaction of Rs 24 crore in respect of 7,20,000 shares of DSQ Industries Ltd," it is claimed. A couple of things followed.
The missing link?
THE affidavit, according to sources, has resurfaced at a time when questions are being asked about the role played by institutions and individuals involved in the case.
The spotlight has also turned on the man who had filed the testimony in the first place. Mr Ramesh had earlier been an Inspector of Police with the Central Bureau of Investigation in Bangalore. He joined SHCIL in October 1995 and looked after vigilance and security. Conducting "domestic investigations" was part of his duty.
He visited SHCIL's Kolkata office in August 2001 and on his return to Mumbai, discussed the matter with Mr D.S. Soman, adviser to SHCIL. He also handed over a copy of his report to Mr B.G. Daga, Director of SHCIL. Mr Daga, then a senior functionary of UTI, is now the head of Central Depository Services Ltd.
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