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Moser Baer troubles: Puris accused of diverting employee gratuity fund to CSR account in complaints to ED

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on October 18, 2019 Published on October 18, 2019

The Moserbaer Karmchari Union has alleged that Deepak Puri, Ratul Puri and two others have swindled ₹24 crore from the Gratuity Trust Fund   -  BL

Employees of Moser Baer approach Enforcement Directorate

Employees of insolvency-hit Moser Baer group have approached the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after it was revealed that funds meant for gratuity have been diverted to an account meant for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

But ED officials say that their hands are tied as they do not have the powers to act on direct complaints. They said that they can only act if the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) registers a First Information Report (FIR) in this regard.

In their representation to the ED, the employees’ union has said that they have approached the EOW of the Delhi Police but they disposed of their complaints saying it was a civil matter. The employees’ plea to file an FIR in this regard is now pending at the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM).

₹24-crore fraud

In their representation to the ED, the Moserbaer Karmchari Union has alleged that Deepak Puri, Ratul Puri and two others have swindled ₹24 crore from the Gratuity Trust Fund to the Moserbaer India Trust Account during the Corporate Insolvency Period.

“This means that the diversion of funds took place when the company was undergoing liquidation. The employees have approached the EOW of the Delhi Police, but they are yet to file the first information report in this case. The complaint to the ED names Deepak Puri, Ratul Puri, Nita Puri and Devendra Singh,” Swarnendu Chatterjee, a lawyer representing the employees’ association told BusinessLine.

“Nita Puri controls the Moserbaer India Trust Account which operated as the CSR account of the Moser Baer group. It seems that Deepak Puri and Ratul Puri oversaw the diversion of these funds when the company was undergoing liquidation and Devendra Singh was handling the affairs as the Resolution Professional (RP),” Chatterjee said.

Ratul Puri is in judicial custody since August 20, this year. An ED statement on Friday said that the agency has filed a prosecution complaint against Ratul Puri and others in a bank fraud case.

Ratul, his father Deepak Puri, and mother, Nita Puri, have been accused of defrauding the Central Bank of India to the tune of ₹354 crore. The ED has, till now, been acting on an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation in this case. Puri was booked in this case in his capacity as executive director of Moser Baer India Ltd (MBIL), a firm promoted by his father Deepak Puri.

(With inputs from Maitri Porecha)

Published on October 18, 2019
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