The ongoing police investigation into the settlement crisis at the National Spot Exchange (NSEL) could soon see the arrest of one more ex-staffer of the bourse. The police has decided to seek custody of Maneesh Pandey, who has already filed an anticipatory bail plea.
According to a senior official of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the police has enough evidence to arrest Pandey, but will have to seek the court's permission as his anticipatory bail application is pending in the court.
‘‘Maneesh Pandey has got an interim relief from the court and has been only directed to present himself before the EOW. We will oppose his bail plea to seek his custody,’’ said a top ranking official of the EOW.
Haryana-based Maneesh Chandra Pandey was among the seven employees sacked by NSEL in August and was believed to be absconding. Sources say Pandey, who was manager (business development), did not come to Mumbai when outstation executives were called by NSEL and that he was incommunicado.
Sources further add that Pandey went to Nepal soon after the R5,600-crore settlement crisis came to light but returned to Mumbai recently as he feared that his properties could be attached if he is officially labelled as an ‘absconder’.
According to an earlier statement filed by former NSEL chief executive officer Anjani Sinha, who was sacked along with Pandey on August 20, Pandey played a key role in bringing on board members like PD Agro Processors, ARK Imports, Namdhari Food International, Namdhari Rice & General Mills, Lotus Refineries, White Water Food and Yathuri Associates, which collectively owe NSEL nearly R2,200 crore.
Apart from Pandey, Anjani Sinha had blamed Amit Mukherjee and Jai Bahukhandi for the settlement crisis and both the former employees - along with Anjani Sinha - have already been arrested by the police. The cops have also arrested Nilesh Patel, managing director of NK Proteins - the largest defaulting entity with an outstanding of nearly R970 crore.
The police questioned two personal assistants (PAs) of Jignesh Shah on Wednesday and are likely to question Shankarlal Guru, former chairman of NSEL on Thursday. Shah, founder of Financial Technologies (India) (FTIL), which owns NSEL has already been questioned by the police and is likely to be called again.