NATIONAL

IMA scam: Value of properties is one-third of outstanding claims

The value of movable and immovable properties attached in connection with the I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam, available for auction and settlement of claims by depositors, stands at Rs. 475 crore, only a third of the estimated outstanding claims of Rs. 1,400 crore.

Harsh Gupta, Special Officer and Competent Authority, IMA Scam, said since the company had taken deposits and paid monthly returns through the banking system, making an estimate was easy. “We have carried out a forensic audit of all IMA accounts, according to which the total principal of the deposits collected from nearly one lakh investors is around Rs. 2,900 crore. Of this, IMA has paid returns of around Rs. 1,500 crore to depositors, which will get adjusted. That leaves the outstanding claims pegged at Rs. 1,400 crore,” Dr.Gupta said.

The Special Court, which began hearing the case last week, will decide on the formula to settle the claims, given that the value of the properties attached is only Rs. 475 crore, Dr. Gupta said. “There are questions whether all depositors have to be paid proportionately, or if small depositors should be given priority,” he said.

Several people, mostly early depositors, had already collected returns more than their principal deposit beforeIMA went kaput. “Whether these excess returns have to be collected back is a question that the court and the authorities will take a call on. Since their numbers are huge, there are issues of feasibility involved,” Dr. Gupta said.

On the issue of when claims will be settled, Dr. Gupta drew a timeline of at least six months, if not more.

However, the process is expected to take longer as the Special Court verdict is expected to be challenged in the higher courts, even if it confirms attachment of these assets, sources said.