Margdarsi to respond to AP govt application, probe to stay:SC

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New Delhi, Dec 1 (UNI) The Supreme Court has directed Margdarsi financiers, a chitfund company owned by ETV owner Ramoji Rao, to respond within four weeks to an application of Andhra Pradesh government, seeking to vacate the interim order dated April 20, 2007 and staying the investigation into the affairs of the company.

Senior counsel Andhyaarjuna told a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran that the company with which the depositor have deposited about Rs 2,600 crores, have failed to reveal the steps taken by it to repay the public money.

State government also contended that Margdarsi has made no efforts to refund the amount of investors, repeatedly saying that Rs 1,000 crore has been invested and was being repaid to the depositors.

However, it has failed to disclose details about the remaining Rs 1,600 crore.

Andhra Pradesh government had initiated investigations under the AP Protection of Depositors of Financial Establishment Act.

According to the state government, the money has been diverted by Margdarsi owners in their accounts and the state government should be permitted to attach the properties of the respondent firm, freezing its account.

However, Mr Rao, in his petition, has alleged that the Congress government in the state was trying to stifle the voice of Eenadu group of newspapers, who have been exposing the rampant corruption in which even the family members of Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy were also involved.

Hindu's Editor-in-chief N Ram and former Indian Express Editor Kuldeep Nayyar have also filed intervention application in support of Mr Rao.

Mr Rao has also contended that not even a single investor has complained against his firm and the present investigation is nothing but an attack on the freedom of media.

The apex court yesterday adjourned the hearing of the case till February next year.

UNI

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