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IPO scam: IGF demands probe in Roopalben and Sugandh's fraud

By Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 17 (UNI) Claiming that their worst fears regarding the IPO-demat scam have been confirmed by the Ahmedabad Income Tax department, Investors' Grievances Forum (IGF) President Kirit Somaiya today demanded a high-powered inquiry into it by market regulators - RBI, SEBI and Ministry of Finance.

Mr Somaiya said even as the matter of Gujarat-based Roopalben Panchal and Sugandh Investments making thousands of bogus applications in 25 IPOs has come to light, there has been no coordination between various agencies conducting an investigation into the IPO-demat scam.

''In spite of repeated requests from the IGF, it is a pity that there is no coordination on the investigation of the IPO-demat scam,'' he lamented.

He said the Ahmedabad IT Director D S Rastogi has informed them that Roopalben Panchal and Sugandh had earned a total Rs 60.62 crore in 18 months by making 2,34,000 bogus applications for more than one crore shares.

Mr Somaiya, who is also a BJP leader and a former MP, said ''it is shocking'' that in the FCS Software IPO alone, Roopalben Panchal made 29,522 fake applications, while Sugandh Investments made 14,600 bogus applications.

The two had disclosed only Rs 13.60 crore income, as against an income of Rs 100 crore, he added.

Some of the big-ticket IPOs in which both Roopalben Panchal and Sugandh Investments had made applications include Saksoft, Shopper's Stop, YES Bank, IL&FS Investmart Ltd, Suzlon, Renuka Sugar Ltd, Syndicate Bank, ICICI, Datamatics Limited, NDTV Ltd, Indiabulls, NTPC, Bharti Shipyard and PNB, Mr Somaiya said.

Therefore, a high-powered committee comprising members from Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Stocks and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and MoF should conduct a thorough probe into the scam, he demanded.

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