The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the bail application filed by Shrikant Mohta, the co-founder of Shree Venkatesh Films Pvt Ltd and an alleged accused in a multi-crore chit fund scam.
A two-judge bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Hemant Gupta has issued notice and placed the matter before the appropriate bench. The matter would now be heard on January 4, 2021. The Court was hearing the challenge to the Orissa High Court order which had dismissed the bail application filed by accused Shrikant Mohta in the chit fund scam.
The prosecution case is that the Rose Valley Group of companies collected a huge amount of money from the people enticing them with false promises of paying higher rates of interest although Rose Valley was not having any authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India for carrying out such activities, therefore Company cheated the Public.
Shrikant Mohta, being a director of Shree Venkatesh Films, entered into a criminal conspiracy with accused Gautam Kundu, the chairman of Rose Valley and others, to misappropriate the public fund illegally collected by Rose Valley in the garb of an agreement for the sake of production and supply of telecast rights of Bengali feature films to be broadcast through the satellite channel of Brand Value Communications Private Limited (BVCL) namely Rupashi Bangla, a sister concern of Rose Valley and after execution of agreement, ill-gotten money was diverted from BVCL to Shree Venkatesh Films in the guise of commercial ties.
“The telecast of Bengali feature films had also an illegal purpose to promote chit fund business activities of Rose Valley Group. The role played by the petitioner in flourishing the business activities of Rose Valley was very crucial inasmuch as by such telecast of films in the Rupashi Bangla channel and the advertisements of Rose Valley shown during the telecast, the investors were allured to make huge investment that increased the collection of deposits from general public which was the real purpose behind the telecast. It appears that the total collection of Rose Valley Group since beginning till 2010-11 was Rs 5357,92,82,699/- only but during the year 2011-12, the total collection raised to Rs 3322,67,60,290/- in a single year and raised further in the year 2012-13 and ultimately Rose Valley Group has been accused of duping investors of about Rs 17,000 crore in different states,”
– said the Orissa High Court in its Order.
Justice S. K. Sahoo of the Orissa High Court had said, “It appears that many of the so-called important personalities have played pivotal role in the multi-crores scam very cunningly and after being caught one after another, they are taking the plea of ignorance of nature of business activities of Rose Valley Group. Cat closing it’s eyes while drinking milk thinks nobody is watching it. An economic offence is a well manipulated offence. It is a white-collared crime which disturbs economic equilibrium in the society and the weaker section is victimised. Liberty of an individual cannot outweigh the interest of the society. An economic offence has to be viewed from a serious perspective and no lenient view can be taken. A murderer takes away the life of a person but a person committing economic offence leaves a living person dead,” while dismissing the bail application.
Mohta was arrested by the CBI in January 24 last year for his alleged links with the Rose Valley. He has since been in judicial custody at the Jharpada jail. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for him before the Supreme Court.