Sucheta Dalal :GTL’s Sanjay Dalmia asked to appear before EOW
Sucheta Dalal

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GTL’s Sanjay Dalmia asked to appear before EOW  

November 17, 2009


The Bombay High Court has asked Delhi-based businessman Sanjay Dalmia to appear before the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) at Mumbai in connection with a complaint of cheating filed by Indiabulls Financial Services, reports PTI.
The Court on 13th November had refused to quash the first information report (FIR) filed by EOW against Mr Dalmia, the chief promoter of cigarette manufacturer Golden Tobacco Ltd (GTL), and had directed him to appear before EOW.
Indiabulls Financial Services, which had lent Rs225 crore to Mr Dalmia's seven group companies, has filed a complaint against Mr Dalmia and others, alleging cheating. For these funds, Mr Dalmia pledged his shares in GTL and Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd (GHCL) and some property, together worth over Rs250 crore
After the value of shares offered as security by the Dalmia group declined, the group offered property in Mehrouli (near Delhi) worth Rs70 crore as additional security.
But Indiabulls Financial Services later allegedly found out that this property was in somebody else's name. So, it filed an FIR against Mr Dalmia and others.
Last week, a Division bench of Justices JN Patel and Amjed Sayed rejected Mr Dalmia's plea to quash the FIR, saying that the court would not like to interfere in the probe. But the Court directed that EOW must give 72 hours' notice to Sanjay Dalmia if it wants to arrest him.
Mr Dalmia's company GTL was in the news last week when Pramod Jain, a minority shareholder, made an attempt to buy another 25% shares in the company at a hefty Rs101 per share.
Mr Jain and his companies, Pranidhi Holdings and JP Financial Services, acquired a 6.47% stake in GTC when Mr Dalmia wasn’t able to redeem 890,000 shares pledged with the group. Mr Jain has since told the media that his open offer is aimed at ensuring that Mr Dalmia does not alienate GTC assets to meet his other obligations, including the large sums owed to Indiabulls.
According to Mr Jain, Golden Tobacco is also an asset-rich company which has property in Mumbai worth around Rs500-Rs700 crore. The current market capitalisation of GTL is slightly over Rs200 crore and Mr Jain feels he would get a leverage of over Rs400 crore besides the tobacco licence of GTL.
Debt-ridden GTL makes cigarette brands like Panama and Chancellor.
Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]

-- Sucheta Dalal