New Delhi: Pulling the plug on an illicit real estate investment scheme, markets regultor Sebi has ordered Arise Bhoomi Developers and its directors to refund investors' money in three months.
Besides, they have been barred from the securities market for four years.
The company had launched and operated collective investment schemes (CIS) without obtaining necessary approvals from Sebi.
A Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) probe found that the firm had mobilised funds from the public in the name of 'purchase of agricultural land' through its various investment schemes, promising them an expected sum at the end of the contract.
The schemes, as per Sebi, qualifies to be a CIS which requires compulsory registration from the regulator.
"The contributions or payments made by the investors, are pooled and utilised by the company for the purposes of the scheme or arrangement," Sebi's whole time member Prashant Saran said.
Accordingly, the regulator directed the firm and its directors to wind up the existing CIS and refund the money collected by it under the schemes with returns which are due to its investors within a period of three months.
The company and its directors are "restrained from accessing the securities market and are prohibited from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities market for a period of 4 years."
In case the firm fails to comply with these orders, Sebi would register a case with the state government or police against them for fraud, cheating and misappropriation of public funds.
Besides, Ministry of Corporate Affairs would initiate the process of winding up of the company.
The directions would come into force with immediate effect.