Mohammed Mansoor Khan, promoter of I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) group of companies and the prime accused in the IMA scam, has moved the High Court of Karnataka questioning a special court’s order of confirming attachment of one of his apartments for its sale.
A division bench comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty, before which the appeal came up for hearing, ordered issue of notice to the State government and the Competent Authority (CA) appointed for the IMA scam case under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments (KPIFFE) Act, 2004.
An apartment situated on Bannerghatta Road Layout in Tilaknagar, Bengaluru, which was purchased by Khan in 2014, was among several other immovable properties and the bank accounts, attachment of which was confirmed by the special court set up for KPIDFE cases in its order passed on March 7, 2022.
The special court had also directed the CA to sell immovable properties for realisation of money to pay back the depositors. Besides, the special court had also directed the CA to transfer amounts standing in some of the bank accounts and bank deposit account of IMA, attachments of which have been confirmed, to CA’s account to distribute the amount to the depositors.
It has been contended in the appeal, among other grounds, that the special court had failed to appreciate the contention of the IMA and its promoter that investments made do not fall within the definition of “deposit” defined under the KPIDFE Act.
The investment made by way of capital contribution in the firms is specifically excluded from the definition of “deposit” under the KPIDFE Act as majority of entities that are part of the IMA group are limited liability partnership firms (LLPs) and all the investors had brought in money in to these firms by way of ‘capital contribution’ and the said amount is ‘invested’ in various sectors, it has been claimed in the appeal while contending that KPIDFE Act is not applicable to the IMA group.
The government has not even made any attempt to know the relationship between the investors and the entity in which the investment has been made. Since the investments were made towards capital contribution the provisions of KPIDFE Act, have no application, it has been contended in the appeal
Challenging the notifications issued by the State government attaching the properties, it has been contended in the appeal that property in Tilaknagar was purchased by Khan out of his personal income and the profits accrued from his business ventures in accordance with law, and the CA had failed to show that the property was purchased purchased from the “deposits” of the general public.