CBI files case in NSEL scam

The CBI on Thursday registered a case in the alleged irregularities committed in the investments of a PSU in the Jignesh Shah-promoted National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), leading to a loss of Rs 120 crore to the exchequer.

This came on a day when the agency also registered a preliminary enquiry into the granting of licence to Shah-promoted Multi Commodities Exchange by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), despite objections.

After registering a case against New Delhi-based Project and Equipment Corporation (PEC), the CBI carried out searches at 15 locations across the country, including offices of NSEL in Mumbai.

The searches were carried out after the agency registered a case of alleged criminal conspiracy to cheat the PSU in the matter of floating fraudulent paired contracts for trading of agro commodity on the NSEL platform, without actually undertaking any genuine trade.

This caused a loss to the government to the tune of Rs 120.75 crore. The agency has registered a case of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

 The searches were conducted at four locations in Mumbai, two in Karnal and nine in Delhi. The locations included residential premises of five PEC officials, two NSEL officials and one that of a private person.

Seven offices of NSEL and six offices of its counterpart in PEC transactions were searched as part of the operation.

Around Rs 343 crore of state-owned trading firms MMTC and PEC is stuck with the crisis-ridden NSEL, which has to settle nearly Rs 5,400 crore with 148 entities. Shah-headed Financial Technologies India Ltd ( FTIL), the promoter of MCX and NSEL, was hit by crisis after it suspended trade on July 31 last year following a government directive.

The preliminary enquiry was registered to ascertain how MCX was granted permission despite opposition. Former Sebi chairman C B Bhave and former member K M Abraham are among those named in the preliminary enquiry. Bhave and Abraham could not be contacted for comments.

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