Disbursing money to duped investors should be focus of probe agencies: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the primary focus of investigative agencies in economic offence cases should be to disburse money to those investors who have been duped.

A bench of justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh was hearing an appeal filed by Telangana and the Serious Fraud Investigative Agency ( SFIO) in the Heera Gold case where the company is accused of collecting Rs 5,600 crore deposits from investors.

"The focus should be to verify claims, assets and to see how best the disbursement to the investors takes place, so that the issue of investors getting back their fund is met with, at priority.

"We made it clear that the question of criminal action for violation, if any, is a secondary aspect to the primary aspect of making sure that investors get their money. It is with this objective we have kept the matter - to monitor and see the results," the bench said.

The top court's observation came while dismissing the appeal filed by SFIO seeking cancellation of bail granted to Nowhera Shaikh, the managing director of Heera Gold Exim.

"The application is dismissed and proceedings pursuant to the FIR are stayed. We put it to the ASG to obtain instruction whether they have something further to say regarding quashing of FIR," the bench said.

The top court said it is annoying that agencies catch hold of somebody, but for years together yhey cannot make out what the person has done.

"Can we keep everything in abeyance till the efficiency level of the investigation improves to a level they can pin down what the person has done," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju appeared in the matter.

The firm is accused of duping investors after luring them to invest in gold saving schemes.

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