NSEL staffer missing as ex-CEO shifts blame

Sep 17 2013, 03:21 IST
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SummaryAnjani Sinha cites Rs 17-lakh SUV as evidence against another staffer

The Haryana-based Maneesh Chandra Pandey, among the seven employees sacked by the National Spot Exchange (NSEL) in the wake of the settlement crisis, is absconding. Sources say Pandey, who was manager (business development), did not come to Mumbai when outstation executives were called by NSEL and that he is incommunicado.

Interestingly, according to the statement filed by Anjani Sinha, former CEO, NSEL, 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.

Sinha’s affidavit, filed with the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) and the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), blames two management officials — Amit Mukherjee, who headed business development and Jai Bahukhandi, responsible for warehousing. “I do not have comprehensive, concrete and specific information about personal benefits derived by senior management team of NSEL from any of the buying members. However, I suspect that they might have entered into dealings with the buying members for their personal benefit,” Sinha said in the affidavit.

Sinha maintained in the 13-page affidavit that the board of directors and the promoters — namely Jignesh Shah — were not aware of the crisis that was building up in the exchange.

“Our promoters have not derived any advantage out of the NSEL operation,” said Sinha adding that “they (promoters) have given their own funds for settling dues of small clients of NSEL.”

NSEL is currently embroiled in a Rs 5,600-crore settlement crisis which came to light in late July. The exchange has been unable to meet its payment obligation of Rs 174 crore per week for four consecutive weeks with borrowers failing to make good their dues.

In his statement on September 11, Sinha said: “Most of the buyers who have defaulted are from Punjab and Haryana, who were introduced by... Pandey, who stays at Karnal, Haryana.” He has also said that some senior management staff “might have entered into dealings with the buying members for their personal benefit,” without naming Pandey in this context.

“Maneesh Pandey has been incommunicado since around mid-August. Around that time, when outstation executives were asked to report in Mumbai, he had excused himself citing medical reasons. He was handling business development at the Haryana sector for NSEL,” a person familiar with the matter, said.

A call to Pandey's cellphone

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