Committee - Golden Forest (India) Limited

Appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India

Status of Claims

 

1. As per orders of Hon'ble Supreme Court, claims were invited from the depositors/investors of Golden Forests (India) Ltd vide advertisement dated 25.10.2004.

2. As desired by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the period for the receipt of the claims from the investors and creditors was extended by 3 months and this information was widely advertised in leading vernacular newspaper of all the States. The advertisement was published and the period extended from 19.2.2005 to 20.5.2005. The period fixed in the first advertisement expired on 24.1.2005 but the Committee continued to receive the claims even after the expiry of that period and thereafter the claims were received during the extended period. Even now claims are coming and are being entertained, and the Committee has not refused to receive any claim irrespective of the expiry of the periods fixed for receiving the claim.

3. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in its order dated 05.09.2008 has fixed 10.08.2006 as the cut off date for receiving claims. Since claims from the depositors of GFIL continue to come even to this day, their lists are being prepared separately and shall be placed before the Hon'ble Supreme Court for orders.

4. There is clear direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court that no deposit accepted by an Agent after 1st January 2001 is to be accepted as the company had closed the business in December 2000 and the Directors of the company were in the Jail in December 2000. The Hon’ble Court further directed that there should be clear proof of deposit of money with the company.

5. The relevant part of the order of the Supreme Court dated 5-9-2006 reads as follow:-
“The committee should accept the claims of only those claimants, who have original authenticated receipts issued by the GFIL. The committees shall categories the range of investment by depositors and treat the small, medium and big investors in separate categories. Appropriate orders regarding disbursement of the amount among the small, medium and big investors shall be passed at a later date, after the total amount of sale of the properties is received. The committee shall not entertain claims passed on alleged deposits accepted by any agents in the year 2001 till date after the closure of the business of the GFIL. No claim without clear proof of deposit of money with the company shall be considered.”

6. The liabilities are to be discharged by the sale of the properties of Golden Forests (India) Ltd. On 5/9/2006, in T.C.(C). 2 of 2004 Securities and Exchange Board Of India vs. Golden Forests (India) Ltd, the Hon'ble Supreme Court was pleased to pass the following orders in para no. 37 ibid :-
“37. The Committee is put at liberty to put to sale the properties at Village Jharmari, lands at Village Kot Billa, Jaswantgarh and other adjoining villages and a Resort at Nalagarh and other properties of GFIL, possession of which has already been taken by the Committee, by auction after due publicity. The sale shall be subject to the confirmation by this Court. After the properties are put to sale, the Committee shall report to this Court about the auction sale effected which shall be subject to the final orders of this Court.”

7. The payment to the depositors will be made only after the properties are sold and the payment shall depend on the funds collected. There are about 15 Lakh investors who are to be paid. The Hon'ble Supreme Court will decide on the procedure to be followed for payments.

8. No depositor has been paid a single naya paisa as yet, because there is no order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court for the payment to any class of investors.

9. The Committee is unable to give any definite period for the payment, because this depends on the sale of properties and collection of funds.

10. The Golden Forest (India) Ltd, Golden Projects Ltd and some of their other subsidiary companies acquired large areas of land in various villages and districts of Punjab. The Punjab Govt. initiated actions under the Punjab Land Reform Act for declaration of surplus land and taking possession of the land held to be “Surplus”. The Collector (Agrarian) passed an order declaring about 80 to 90% of the lands as surplus. The company filed appeals against the said orders before the Divisional Commissioner, but the appeals were dismissed. The Provisional Liquidator and now the Committee-GFIL filed Revisions before the Financial Commissioner which are pending hearing and the next date fixed is 23.04.2008. The Financial Commissioner, against the order of the Commissioner, Patiala Division has granted stay and whereas against the order of Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, the order is ‘Status Quo’. It may be noted that the Committee-GFIL has also challenged the legality and validity of the orders declaring the lands to be surplus, before the Hon'ble Supreme Court, but the Hon'ble Supreme Court required the Committee-GFIL to exhaust its remedies before the revenue courts.