Committee - Golden Forest (India) Limited

Appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India


Case History

1. The Golden Forests (India) Ltd was incorporated in 1987 and between the years 1991 and 1997, the promoters of GFIL floated over 100 companies, important amongst them being Golden Tourist Resorts and Developers Ltd ( Incorporated in 1991 and further expanded in 1996), Golden Projects Ltd ( Incorporated in 1996), Golden Lease Finance Ltd (Incorporated in 1994), Himachal Country Resorts Ltd, etc. Golden Projects Ltd introduced a number of attractive investment schemes promising handsome returns and within a short span of 3 years collected hundreds of crores of rupees. Large areas of lands and properties were acquired in the name of Golden Projects Ltd. Similarly a large numbers of properties have been acquired in the name of Golden Tourist Resorts and Developers Ltd some properties also have been acquired in the name of Himachal Country Resorts Ltd and some other companies.

2. Golden Forests (India) Ltd. and all its subsidiary, associate, and sister companies are controlled by one family comprising of A. L. Syal, R. K. Syal, Neena Syal, Pamila Syal, Bimla Syal (Since dead), H. K. Sinha (Brother in Law of R. K. Syal).

3. An inquiry was initiated by the SEBI against Golden Forests (India) Ltd in the year 1997 and a Committee of two persons was constituted to inquire into the affairs of the company. A report was submitted on 21/04/1998 which brings out the financial and other irregularities committed by the company. A writ petition was filed in the Bombay High Court by SEBI in which an order was passed against GFIL restraining them from alienating the properties; a similar order was passed by the Delhi High Court in the same year. SEBI on 9/1/1998 itself passed an order prohibiting the company from alienating its properties. Mr. Justice M. L. Pendse was appointed as Receiver and certain properties were earmarked for sale, but the Receiver could not sell the properties. The management of the company kept on accepting deposits, doing business and alienating properties.

4. A Company Petition No 60 of 2001 titled National Investor Forum vs. Golden Forests (India) Ltd. was filed in the Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court at Chandigarh in the year 2001. The same prayed for the winding up of the Golden Forests (India) Ltd. The Hon’ble Company Judge vide order dated 18.6.2003 directed that all properties of the company shall be managed, controlled, regulated by a provisional liquidator, who shall have power to sell the moveable and immovable property. Further, vide order dated 20.6.2003, Justice R.N. Aggarwal was appointed “Provisional Liquidator”.

5. The above matter along with all other matters against the company pending in various High Courts throughout the country were transferred to the Hon'ble Supreme Court vide order dated 12.9.2003, on a transfer petition filed by SEBI being Securities and Exchange Board of India Vs Golden Forests (India) Ltd. & Anr. - Transfer Petition No. 696 of 2002. CP 60/2001 was also transferred to the Hon'ble Supreme Court and numbered as T.C. (Civil) No. 68 of 2003.

6. The Hon'ble Supreme Court vide order dated 19.08.2004 constituted a committee consisting of Justice K. T. Thomas (Retired Judge of Hon'ble Supreme Court) and an officer to be nominated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and an officer to be nominated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and further ordered the committee to take into its custody all assets of the company, wherever they may be, to issue advertisement in Newspapers calling upon all the creditors of the company to submit the claim(s) before the Committee.

7. Shri Justice K. T. Thomas (Retd.) requested the court for being relieved and accepting the request of Justice Thomas, the Hon'ble Supreme Court on 10/09/2004 appointed in place of Justice K. T. Thomas, Justice R. N. Aggarwal (Retd.) who was earlier the Provisional Liquidator as the Chairman of the Committee. The Reserve Bank of India appointed Mr. K. N. Rupani, DGM (Retd.) as its whole time nominee on the committee but this order of appointment of Mr. K. N. Rupani was not approved by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and in his place RBI appointed Mr. P. K. Arora, DGM, RBI, Chandigarh as its whole time member on the committee. The SEBI appointed Ms. Raj Rani Bhalla, Dy. Legal Advisor, as its whole time member on the committee, subsequently, the SEBI appointed Mr. S.K. Sharma as a member on the Committee in place of Ms Bhalla.

8. On 05.09.2006, Mr. P. K. Arora, DGM, RBI and Mr. S.K. Sharma, DGM, SEBI were relieved by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and in their place Mr. H. L. Randev and Mr. B. S. Bedi, both former District and Sessions Judges were appointed Members on the Committee by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.