Kerala government re-issues order to freeze all transactions by Highrich Shoppe

Taking note of this fact, the Kerala High Court quashed the decision to attach the properties of the company.
Representative image
Representative image

KOCHI: Following the setback in the Kerala High Court, the state government again issued an order directing the inspector general of the registration department to freeze the sale, mortgage or any other transaction of immovable properties of Highrich Online Shoppe Pvt Ltd.

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The home department also directed the transport commissioner to seize all vehicles owned by the firm/deposit-taker/its partners or allied firms and to take necessary steps to prohibit the transfer of registration of vehicles and to report to the respective district collectors. The case was registered based on a complaint that Prathapan and Sreena Prathapan, the directors of Highrich Online Shoppe Pvt Ltd, Capital Art Business Spaces, Neruvissery, Thrissur, accepted deposits from the public offering huge returns.

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They made the depositors believe that by remitting Rs 750 or Rs 10,000 they can enroll as members and for the deposit amount they will be provided dividends and other benefits after a fixed period or monthly. The acceptance of deposits was akin to the money-chain model which is a punishable offence under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act. Later, Sanjay M Kaul, Competent Authority, issued a provisional attachment of all movable/immovable properties and all other deposits held by the company. As per Section 14 of the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act (BUDS Act), the application for confirmation of attachment and sale of the property had to be filed within 30 days which might extend up to 60 days before the designated court. However, that exercise could not be completed within the stipulated time.

Taking note of this fact, the Kerala High Court quashed the decision to attach the properties of the company.

Soon after the High Court order, the government restarted these proceedings in conformity with the provision of Section 14 of the BUDS ACT to safeguard the interest of the depositors.

The order also said the bank managers in all districts concerned, registrar of co-operative societies, general managers of KSFE, district managers of KFC and all other financial institutions are directed to take necessary steps to freeze all accounts of the company and its allied firms. The police authorities shall identify the accounts of the firm and take action to freeze the accounts by intimating the provisional attachment orders to the respective banks, the order stated.

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