MUMBAI: Stocks of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL) and Lakshmi Vilas Bank, which is awaiting merger, fell by around 5 per cent to close at Rs 425 and Rs 36 respectively following news about public interest litigation (PIL) filed by citizens forum asking for probe against the company by various state agencies.
The Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum’s petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal alleging violations of various statutes and policies came to light.
This has put a question mark over the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval for the merger of the bank with the housing finance company announced in April this year.
According to the petition, various regulations of RBI, Securities and Exchange Board of India, National Housing Bank and other laws prima-facie make a fit case for investigation into the affairs of IBHFL “and any inaction of the relevant authorities to investigate could result in jeopardizing and undermining of public interest, rule of the law and the regulatory structure besides probable loss to the public exchequer”.
IBHFL in a statement sent to stock exchanges said the petition has not yet been filed in the Delhi High Court “but leaked on social media with malicious intent to create turbulence in IBH stock price”. The petition since then has been filed at the court. IBHFL said the PIL is on the lines of a case filed earlier by Abhay Yadav who subsequently withdrew it saying that he did at the behest of a blackmailer who has since been arrested and is in jail.
“Instead of going to regulatory agencies and making a complaint, the petitioners chose route of PIL to attract attention and play into hands of blackmailers and corporate rivals at a time of the merger process of IBH with Laxmi Vilas Bank. For past three months, IBH is undergoing inspections of regulators as part of the merger process. IBH is determined to fight out petitioners in court,” it said.
The PIL said IBHFL has taken huge sums of loans from various private and public sector banks which is at stake. “The financial details of IBHFL, with details of borrowings inter alia, show that over 12,000 firms are registered at the same address as that of Indiabulls thereby suggesting a staggering number of dummy firms having been created by Indiabulls,” it said.