Committee - Golden Forest (India) Limited

Appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India


  1. Golden Forests (India) Ltd was incorporated on 23.2.1987. Between 1991 and 1997, the promoters of this Company (hereinafter referred to as GFIL) floated 110 companies. Among these companies the important ones were 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. (incorporated in 1993) and so on.

  2. From the commencement of the business on 6.3.1987, GFIL came out with several schemes for raising funds from investors. The Company mobilised approximately Rs 16 lakhs in 1987, Rs 3 crores by 1990 and by the year 1997 it had mobilised about Rs 311 crores. It had also acquired about 7750 acres of land. On 31.12.1997 the Company had Rs 1037 crores on a capital base of Rs 10 lakhs. Large areas of lands and properties had also been acquired in the name of Golden Tourist Resorts and Developers Ltd, and some properties in the name of Himachal Country Resorts Ltd and some other companies.

  3. Golden Forests (India) Ltd. and all its subsidiary, associate, and sister companies were promoted and controlled by one family comprising of A. L. Syal, R. K. Syal, Neena Syal, Pamila Syal, Bimla Syal and H. K. Sinha (Brother in Law of R. K. Syal). All of the above persons, except H.K. Sinha, have died.

  4. An inquiry was initiated by Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against Golden Forests (India) Ltd in 1997. On 9.1.1998 SEBI passed an order prohibiting the Company from alienating its properties. A Committee of two persons was constituted to inquire into the affairs of the Company. The said Committee’s report was submitted on 21.4.1998 which brought out financial and other irregularities committed by the Company.

  5. All matters relating to irregularities committed by the Company were taken to the Bombay High Court by SEBI. Writ Petition No. 344 of 1998 titled as Securities & Exchange Board of India Vs. Golden Forests (India) Ltd & Ors. was filed in the Bombay High Court by SEBI in which an order was passed on 23.11.1998 whereby the Company and its subsidiaries as well as the Directors were directed not to dispose of any property of the respondent-company or its subsidiaries or its Directors till further orders.

  6. Mr. Justice M. L. Pendse was appointed as Receiver by Bombay High Court on 16.02.2000 and certain properties were earmarked for sale but the Receiver was unable to sell the properties. In the meanwhile the promoters and the management of the company kept on accepting deposits, doing business and alienating properties in defiance of the injunction orders passed by Bombay High Court on 23.11.1998.

  7. 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 2001. The petitioners therein prayed for the winding up of 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 (former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court) was appointed “ Provisional Liquidator”.

  8. 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 from Punjab & Haryana High and numbered as T.C. (Civil) No. 68 of 2003 and W.P. No. 344 of 1998 was transferred from Bombay High Court and numbered as T.C. (Civil) No. 2 of 2004.

  9. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide order dated 19.8.2004 constituted a Committee consisting of Justice K. T. Thomas (Retired Judge of Hon’ble Supreme Court) and an officer to be nominated each by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The Committee was required to take into its custody all assets of the company, wherever they may be, to issue advertisements in newspapers calling upon all creditors of the Company to submit the claim(s) before the Committee.

  10. Justice K. T. Thomas (Retd.) requested the court for being relieved which request was accepted. The Hon’ble Supreme Court on 10.9.2004 appointed Justice R. N. Aggarwal, Chief Justice (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 after sometime this order 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. SEBI appointed Ms. Raj Rani Bhalla, Dy. Legal Advisor, as its whole time member on the committee, subsequently, SEBI appointed Mr. S.K. Sharma as a member on the Committee in place of Ms. Bhalla.

  11. On 5.9.2006, 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 (Punjab) were appointed Members on the Committee by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Justice R.N. Aggarwal continued as Chairman of the Committee.

  12. On 3.2.2010, the Hon’ble Supreme Court passed an order that all the matters i.e. transferred cases, interim applications, contempt petitions as well as the writ petitions be transferred to Hon’ble Delhi High Court and requested to pass appropriate orders. Thereafter, Hon’ble Delhi High Court monitored the progress of identification and disposal properties of the GFIL group of companies. Hon’ble Delhi High Court also oversaw the orders made by the Committee for GFIL from time to time in respect of specific properties, such as confirmation of sales, confirmation of orders, cancelling or disregarding transfers of GFIL properties made by contravening the orders of the Court etc.

  13. Subsequently, two Members of the Committee (other than the Chairperson) resigned due to advancing age or inability to cope with the work. Later the Chairman, Justice R. N. Aggarwal also expressed his inability to continue with the Committee’s work as he had crossed the age of 90. An application was preferred before the Hon’ble Supreme Court requesting that Justice Aggarwal be relieved of his responsibility. Hon’ble Supreme Court vide orders dated 26.9.2016 asked Hon’ble High Court of Delhi to make appropriate orders in this regard. Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, on the basis of recommendation of Hon’ble Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court, vide order dated 20.12.2016 nominated the following to assume charge and act as the Chairman and the Members of the Committee: -

  14. a. Justice K.S. Garewal (Retd), Chairman Former Judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court.
    b. P.L. Ahuja, Member Former District & Sessions Judge, Haryana.
    c. B.M. Bedi, Member Former District & Sessions Judge, Haryana.

  15. The present Chairman and the Members took over charge on 6.3.2017.

  16. The Committee-GFIL had been constituted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India inter alia with following mandate:-
    i. To invite claims from the investors and creditors of the Golden Forests Group of Companies and tabulate the same.
    ii. To identity the properties of Golden Forests Group of Companies and take their possession through the concerned District Administration, and if need be with the police help as well.
    iii. To put on sale the properties of the Golden Forests Group of Companies under the supervision of/and subject to the confirmation by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
    iv. On 30.7.2018, Hon’ble Supreme Court directed that 70% of the principal amount be disbursed from the available money to each of the investors; whose names have been received and verified by the Committee.