In a relief to former Minister R. Roshan Baig, the special court set up to deal with cases under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments (KPIDFE) Act has released his assets attached by the State government to recover deposit amounts in the I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group scam case.
“The interim order of attachment passed by the government is contrary to Section 3 of the Act and it appears that the government has attached the properties without any proper inquiry and reasons,” the court observed while cancelling the government’s July 6, 2021, notification of attaching Mr. Baig’s assets.
Shridhar Gopalakrishna Bhat, judge of the special court, passed the order while dismissing the petition filed by the Competent Authority (CA), which had sought confirmation of attached assets so that they can be realised for payment of amount to the depositors, who lost their deposits in the scam.
The government, acting on the CA’s recommendation, had attached all the assets, which Mr. Baig had declared along with his nomination paper when he contested elections to the State Assembly in 2018.
CA’s contention rejected
The court rejected the CA’s contention that Mr. Baig had acted as a “promoter” of IMA Group of companies and hence, attaching his assets is justified when the company has no sufficient assets to repay the depositor’s money.
Mr. Baig’s association with owners of the IMA Group and participation in functions organised by the company might have boosted the confidence of people with IMA Group of companies but on that basis it can’t be held that Mr. Baig had acted as a “promoter of IMA Group” under Section 3 of the Act, the court said.
The court also refused to accept CA’s claim that unsecured loan amount, shown by Mr. Baig in his asset declaration made during 2018, was received from IMA. The court pointed out that such a claim is not found in the attachment notification and no documents are produced to show that unsecured loan amounts was transferred to Mr. Baig by the company.
The government had attached Mr. Baig’s assets properties only after three orders by the High Court in May-June, 2021 questioning non-attaching of his assets even after intimation from the CA for attachment since March 2021.