The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Badla buccaneers banished behind bars

Calcutta, Sept. 25: After a 27-hour raid in various parts of the city, the detective department of the Calcutta Police arrested six high profile stockbrokers who were largely responsible for the payment crisis on the Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE) last year.

Acting on a 40-page FIR recently filed by the Calcutta Stock Exchange, the police arrested the six brokers — Harish Chandra Biyani, Ramesh Chandra Biyani, Rajkumar Jain (alias Rajkumar Patni), Basudeo Singhania, Vijay Singhania and Gopal Singhania — from their houses last night.

They were produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate at the Bankshall Court today and remanded in police custody till October 4.

The charges brought against them include manipulation of share prices through collusive trading and misappropriation of public money, among others.

Three groups, led by Harish Chandra Biyani, Ashok Kumar Poddar and Dinesh Kumar Singhania, had close contacts with Ketan Parekh, and were the key defaulters in the payment crisis last year. The police are on the hot pursuit of Ashok Poddar and Dinesh Singhania even as search and seizures continue.

Poddar is believed to be living in Rajasthan for the past few months, whereas Singhania is absconding. Besides the two, the police are also trying to nab Harish Biyani’s son Alok Biyani and his nephew, Ravinder Biyani.

Besides defaulting to the CSE, they owe several crores to brokers and investors. They had raised the money for badla financing — or funding carry-forward transactions — but could not repay as stock prices crashed.

Dinesh Singhania was once arrested in Mumbai last year for allegedly cheating an investor. He is wanted in several other cases filed by investors and is on the run for a year now.

After the crisis last year, Singhania, Poddar and their associates had said Ketan Parekh had duped them. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) endorsed their view in its report to the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the stock market scam.

Members of the Calcutta Stock Exchange welcomed the move, which they believe, was initiated on instructions from the Writers’ Buildings. State industry secretary Jawhar Sircar has recently joined the board of the Calcutta Stock Exchange as an independent director.

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