High Court dismisses film producer’s plea

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court dismissed the petition filed by Tamil film producer K.E. Gnanavel Raja who had sought the quashing of the First Information Report registered against him by the Economic Offences Wing, Madurai, in connection with the Ramanathapuram chit fund scam. The investigation was at the initial stage, the court said.

Justice R. Hemalatha observed that it could be found that a large network had been involved in the financial racket and many gullible investors were taken for a ride. It was only the tip of the iceberg and unless a freehand was given to the law enforcement agency, the truth will never get exposed especially when the amount involved was running to crores of rupees.

Therefore, there was no reason to quash the entire proceedings especially when the investigation is at the initial stage and may reveal the truth or otherwise of the complainants, the judge said.

The defacto complainant Thulasimanikandan had invested in the company of one Anand called the Bullion Fintech LLP. The financial institution was said to be operated by Anand, Neethimani and Neethimani’s wife Menaga. Others in Ramanathapuram district were also lured into investing in the chit fund.

A total of ₹3 crore was mobilised. The investors became anxious when the monthly payments suddenly stopped. When the trio were approached, it was alleged that the defacto complainant Thulasimanikandan was threatened. It was also alleged that the three accused had financed film producers Muruganandam, 7G Siva and Studio Green Gnanavel Raja.

A complaint was lodged in this regard and an FIR was registered by the Ramanathapuram police. Similarly, a school teacher in Karaikudi also lodged a complaint that she deposited in the Bullion Fintech LLP and was deceived. An FIR was registered by District Crime Branch Ramanathapuram which was transferred to the Economic Offences Wing, Madurai.

In his petition, K.E. Gnanavel Raja said that he was in no way connected with the financial dealings between the accused and the defacto complainant. Also the inclusion of the name of the film producer in the FIR was not based on any concrete evidence, he said and sought the quash of the FIR registered against him.

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