IMA case: No offence committed by Vijay Shankar, says counsel

It was alleged that there was distinct possibility of unauthorised acceptance of deposits from the general public by the IMA.  Hence, the DG and IGP referred the matter to CID on July 4, 2018.

Published: 12th July 2019 06:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2019 06:35 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The senior counsel for suspended Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner BM Vijay Shankar on Thursday argued in the high court that his client has not committed any offence in relation to  I Monetary Advisory (IMA) case. Vijay Shankar was arrested on graft charges.

The investigation conducted by the Director General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), (Special Cells and Economic Offences), had revealed that IMA had not received deposits but only amounts by way of capital. As such, no action could be taken against the company under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment (KPID) Act, 2004, it said. 
Based on these revelations in the CID investigation report dated January 18, 2019, the Assistant Commissioner (AC), Bengaluru North, on March 8, also opined that under the prevailing facts and circumstances it was clear that no action could be taken against IMA under the Act. 

Quoting both the opinions, Vijay Shankar has written on April 4 to the Principal Secretary, Department of Revenue, for further action.The counsel said that Vijay Shankar did not commit any offence. But being the competent authority under the Act, he had written to the revenue department along with the opinion of the CID and Assistant Commissioner that government approval was necessary to close the above case as of now, for further action. 

This letter was part of the petition filed by Vijay Shankar before the high court seeking to quash the constitution of Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the ground that it is without jurisdiction and sought directions to entrust the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 
Justice P S Dinesh Kumar issued notice to the State, Centre and the CBI, before adjourning the hearing to next week.  

Meanwhile, Advocate General Uday Holla submitted that IMA is said to have collected over Rs 16,000 crore. The investigation was entrusted to CID based on the letter written by the RBI General Manager to the Chief Secretary against IMA and its group entities to hold an inquiry. 

It was alleged that there was distinct possibility of unauthorised acceptance of deposits from the general public by the IMA.  Hence, the DG and IGP referred the matter to CID on July 4, 2018.

CID Gives Clean Chit On Technical Grounds

The CID has concluded that IMA and its group entities were not financial companies nor financial institutions. No one invested in IMA, saying that it is a financial institution. There were no proofs to show that it cheated the public by promising higher rate of profit. There were no lapses found in I-T returns filed by IMA, its partnership companies and Mansoor Khan. Moreover, no individual has come forward to give statement that he has been cheated after collecting deposit.

Therefore, the money paid in the form of capital cannot be treated as deposit as per Section 2(2)(ii) of the KPID Act. Action cannot be initiated against IMA under Section 9 of the Act. Hence, the inquiry has been concluded, the CID said in its report.

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