Cautioning investors of PACL Ltd (erstwhile Pearls), market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had asked them to retain all documents with himself or herself and not to share or handover it to anyone for any reason. SEBI said the Justice RM Lodha Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to dispose of properties of PACL and pay proceeds to investors has not authorised anyone to collect cheques, money or claim forms from investors.
In a statement, SEBI said, "The (Justice RM Lodha) Committee is in receipt of complaints, whereby, it is learnt that certain individuals/associations are collecting money/ claim form under the guise of authorisation from the committee. In this regard, it is reiterated that committee has not authorised any person to collect any money or claim in any manner whatsoever, therefore investors may beware and are cautioned to not fall in the trap of any such news, report or advertisement."
Earlier on 27 November 2016, the market regulator, while informing the process to claim refund (for investors of PACL) made it clear that the refund would be initiated only upon realisation of a sizable amount by the Committee. It said, "In such case, investors would be required to file their claims only in the prescribed format upon specific notification by the Committee. Till such notification, investors are requested to retain their documents with themselves and not to part with them for any reason whatsoever."
The Lodha committee is supervising the Supreme Court ordered process of selling PACL's assets across the country and refunding Rs49,100 crore collected from over 56 crore investors.
The apex court in an order on 2 February 2016 set-up a committee headed by its former chief justice RM Lodha to sell assets of PACL to refund investors Rs49,000 crore collected through collective investment scheme that were held as illegal by market regulator SEBI.
Directing that no court in the country would entertain any plea in respect of the sale of PACL assets, the bench also restrained the PACL from going for any more investments from the public.
The court directed the committee to appoint experts to assists in the sale of land and directed the SEBI to appoint a nodal officer to for investor grievances.
The money to be refunded to the investors was allegedly collected by PACL and Pearls Golden Forest Limited - two companies belonging to Nirmal Singh Bhangoo-managed group - in the name of sale and development of agricultural land.