The 60 thousand Crore PACL Scam Story
It is a story of one of the biggest scams done by an individual in India. A large population of the country may not have heard the name of the scammer who dupes crores of people in the country and invested the same money in properties in India and Abroad.
The name Nirmal Singh Bhangu is not known to millions of Indians, but thousands of families can never forget this person because, this man caused them huge financial injuries. Actually, Nirmal Singh Bhangu was the owner of PACL (Pearls Agro Company Ltd). At one time this person had collected around Rs 50,000 crore from people in Delhi-NCR. The people who were giving money were looking at it like an FD. Bhangu used to show this money as advance to buy land. This sequence continued for a long time but every wrong thing has its time and this also happened. But its loss was caused to those innocent people who had given money to it without any information.
It is believed that Bhangu earlier used to sell milk. After this, he opened a real estate company. This company used to buy land across the country by taking money from people. When the rates of these lands increased, it would sell them and return the money to the people with 12.5 percent interest. SEBI raised questions on why you are working like an investment firm despite being a real estate company. Bhangu's company PACL went to court regarding this matter.
The Company was registered in 1996. PACL purchased land and other properties for farming for thousands of crores of rupees in foreign countries and near big cities of the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Vadodara, Pune, Mohali, Indore etc. and then carried out its other work.
This case continued in the court for 8 years. During this period, PACL became 100 times larger in size. Rs 49,100 crore had been collected from about 6 crore people. PACL purchased 1.83 lakh acres of land across the country. The size of this land is so big that it can accommodate 4 Noida cities. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled against PACL. In one fell swoop, investors lost their money. PACL had about 30 lakh agents through whom this work was done. If the money could not be paid with interest, the company would offer land anywhere in the country. Australian Cricketer Brett Lee was even used for advertisement. However, the investors of the company which once made people rich are today yearning for their hard-earned money. After uncovering the layers of this scam, the total amount turned out to be Rs 60,000 crore and it is still growing.
The first fight between the PAC and SEBI took place in 1998 but in 2003 they got an order from Rajasthan High Court. This increased the faith of the investors in the Company and more investment came in the company.
In 2014, the Supreme Court appointed both SEBI and CBI and ordered an investigation once again. This time, CBI along with SEBI, after investigation, filed a case against PACL and filed an application to return Rs 46 thousand crores back to those who invested in PACL.
This time the Supreme Court gives its verdict along with SEBI and constitutes a committee under the chairmanship of ex-CJI Justice RM Lodha regarding the transactions in PACL. In which the investigation begins to get more information on how much money is owned by how many people.
Till now SEBI has not been able to refund people's money. More than 5 crore people have invested in PACL, who have been waiting to get their money back for the last few years.
SEBI claimed in September 2020 that it had refunded Rs 429.13 crore to 12 lakh investors whose investment amount was up to Rs 10,000. Earlier, more than 1 lakh investors, whose investment amount was up to Rs 2,500, have also got the refund. SEBI has refunded only 12 lakh investors, which is not even 1 percent of the total investors.