Sucheta Dalal :Nimesh Kampani’s quiet homecoming
Sucheta Dalal

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Nimesh Kampani’s quiet homecoming  

October 20, 2009

Almost after he had to leave India in a hurry, Nimesh Kampani could finally stop being a fugitive and returned home to Mumbai to celebrate Diwali with his family. However, despite the wide publicity to the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s decision to quash the Interpol Red Corner notice against him, Kampani’s return to India was kept quiet and almost secret. He has left India again and is now in China.

After a bruising battle by his family and repeated rebuffs from the Supreme Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court, merely to get anticipatory bail for a crime he did not commit, Mr Kampani can breathe easy for a while. Apparently a lot has changed in the state after the demise of former Chief Minister YSR Reddy. The Andhra Pradesh High Court has now stayed the warrant of arrest on 14 October 2009. The court also ordered the withdrawal of the Interpol notice against him. We learn that the family then worked overtime to have the court order served on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ensure that he was not detained at the Indian international airport when he arrived. Sources say that in the normal course, the CBI would have taken almost six to eight weeks to implement the court order, in which case Kampani may have had to remain outside India for an extended period of time.

When Moneylife contacted JM Financial group of companies, the company spokesperson said, “Mr Nimesh Kampani returned to India on Friday to celebrate Diwali with his family.  He is currently in China for work and is expected to return next week. ”

Mr Kampani was the non-executive director of Nagarjuna Financial Ltd (NFL) and had resigned from the post in 1999 before the company began to default on payments to fixed deposit holders. The billionaire investment banker and founder of JM Financial had petitioned the courts to quash criminal proceedings against him and to seek withdrawal of the lookout notice, with no success. Corporate India firmly believes that Mr Kampani was being persecuted for political reasons and the harassment that he faced was because of a large investment he had made in Eenadu, the Andhra Pradesh based media group.

Interestingly the 80-year old Minoo Shroff, who used to be vice chairman of Raymond Limited was also a director of Nagarjuna Finance and faced similar action as Mr Kampani. He too was in London since last November and his anticipatory bail petition was repeatedly rejected. Interestingly, our sources say that Mr Shroff has returned to India a long time ago and the authorities turned a blind eye to the lookout notice, probably in deference to his age and because of the clear realisation that he was being needlessly harassed by the State.

Hyderabad’s central crime police station had charged the promoter-directors of NFL of defrauding depositors of nearly Rs 100 crore.  K Raju, promoter and chairman of Nagarjuna group and P K Madhav, chief executive officer, Maytas Infra Ltd were arrested for the same.  - [email protected]


-- Sucheta Dalal