Popular Finance scam: Kerala HC seeks detailed report

Popular Finance scam: Kerala HC seeks detailed report

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit in the Popular Finance scam. The HC has sought details such as the number of cases registered over various complaints, the action taken, the progress in probe and the steps taken by the Collectors to attach the firm’s assets.

The court on Thursday considered a batch of petitions, seeking a CBI probe into the case, and a contempt plea, pointing out that the HC’s interim order in these petitions was not implemented. While directing the government to file a detailed affidavit, Justice V G Arun postponed hearing in the petitions to October 22.

The state government informed the High Court that a CBI probe was apt into the Popular Finance scam as the fraud had international links with the accused diverting large sums of money to Australia. The state attorney informed the court that a relative of the main accused is in Australia. A total of 389 cases have been registered over various complaints.

The counsel for CBI also informed the court that the central agency was awaiting the Union government's order over the state government's request for a CBI probe.

The firm, with its headquarters at Konni in Pathanamthitta, had allegedly swindled depositors of around Rs 2,000 crore and hundreds of complaints were filed at various stations in the state.

The police have arrested Popular Finance managing director Roy Daniel, his wife Prabha Thomas, who is also the managing partner; their daughters Rinu Mariam Thomas and Riya Ann Thomas in connection with the fraud.

The police have also invoked provisions of the more stringent Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes (BUDS) Rule in the case.

The government also plans to set up a special court and transfer all cases related to the scam to it.

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