Auction Astha assets, pay investors, rules Odisha court

Reported by Santosh  Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 24:

A designated court in Odisha’s Cuttack district on Wednesday directed the state government to sell the attached properties of chit fund company Astha International through public auction and distribute the sale proceeds among the depositors equitably.

Subhranshu Lenka, Odisha head of Astha International
Subhranshu Lenka, Odisha head of Astha International

In its order, the court told the government to confiscate about 16.39 acres of land, bank deposits and movable properties – together worth Rs 7 crore – and distribute them among the depositors.

On April 19 last year, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch (CB) had sought permission from the Finance department for attachment of movable and immovable assets of Astha International in order to liquidate it for refund of money to duped investors as per the provisions of the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2011.

Subhransu Lenka, Chief Managing Director (CMD) of Astha International, a Surat-based money circulation company, was arrested by the EOW of CB on June 8, 2013 on the charge of embezzling about Rs 200 crore from investors in the state.

Astha International had opened two offices in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur in 2010. The company came out with a public notice on June 5, 2012 stating it had been incurring losses and would cease to function.

Astha International had spread its operations to West Bengal apart from running real estate schemes in Odisha.

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