The Hyderabad High Court on Monday dismissed an anticipatory bail petition by the director and vice-chairman of the AgriGold group of companies, T Sunil Chowdary, pointing out that he also played a key role in the tainted company, and could not escape the law.
The Times of India quoted the HC judge as saying that courts would not remain mute spectators to the miseries of those affected by the scam, adding that the police have a right to question those people who headed the company at the time.
The TOI report added that the judge also brushed aside the petitioner's argument that he was a mere employee, saying that a 'mere employee' would not be made the director of the company.
Around 3.2 million people in many states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, were duped by the AgriGold scam, which came to light in 2014.
The company owes Rs 6,380 crore to over 32 lakh depositors in nine states, with Andhra Pradesh leading the list with 19 lakh depositors.
The company lured several lakh customers on the promise that their investment would come back to them with higher returns. Several 'agents' were also sent out to convince people to invest in the group of companies.
The company allegedly took this money and invested heavily in real estate, before branching out to other areas as well, and finally duping the customers.
Last week, the HC was monitoring e-auctions of the company's properties and asked another entity, which wanted to take over the properties of AgriGold, to deposit Rs 100 crore to examine its claim.
The CID is investigating the case, while the state is identifying properties of the company to auction, so that it can refund the investors who were duped.