Andhra firm’s chairman, MD sent to judicial custody

Vijayawda, Feb 12 (IANS) A court in Andhra Pradesh on Friday sent AgriGold chairman A.Venkata Rama Rao and managing director A.V.S. Narayana Rao to judicial custody for 14 days in a case of alleged illegal deposits.

The Crime Investigation Department (CID), which arrested the duo on Thursday night, presented them before the second additional metropolitan court in Eluru in West Godavari district.

A group of depositors tried to stop the police vehicle carrying them. The police had to intervene to disperse the protestors.

The management of AgriGold Farm Estates India allegedly collected deposits to the tune of Rs.7,000 crore from depositors in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and other states without statutory permission. Over 32 lakh people invested their life savings in the company.

The arrests were made a few days after the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana pulled up the CID for “slackness” in the investigation and its failure to arrest the company management.

The high court also threatened to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The arrests were made a few hours before the case was to come up for hearing in the high court.

The high court, which resumed hearing on Friday, adjourned it to February 19.

The AgriGold management submitted to the court list of its assets. The judicial committee, constituted by the court to auction the properties, is scheduled to meet on Friday evening.

The state government handed over the case to the CID about two years ago but the depositors moved the court over the delay in investigations.

Telangana AgriGold Customers and Agents’ Welfare Association filed a petition seeking probe either by the CBI or Enforcement Directorate.

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