Decided on March 14,2003



G.N.Bajpai, - (1.) M/s Golden Trees Plantation Limited (herein after referred to as the company) mobilised funds from investors/public under the collective investment schemes being operated by it. Despite the same, the company had neither filed any information with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (hereinafter referred to as SEBI) nor did they apply for registration under the SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1999 (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations) for carrying on a collective investment scheme.
(2.) Furthermore, several investor complaints were received by SEBI against the company regarding the non payment of their invested money or the assured returns. Upon a perusal of a sample of an allotment letter enclosed with one of the investor complaints, it was noted that the company had allotted one teak sapling under its scheme to an investor in March 1996. The receipt issued by the company showed two dates, i.e. March 30, 1996 and March 18, 1998 while the acknowledgment issued by the company was dated March 18, 1998. Hence, SEBI vide its letter dated November 13, 2001 forwarded the complaint to the company for their comments. In reply to the same, the company, vide their letter dated November 22, 2001 stated that it had stopped operating the scheme with effect from September 30, 1997 and further informed that the duration of the said scheme was for a period of 15 years. However, notwithstanding the statement of the company of having stopped operating its scheme as on September 30, 1997, from the perusal of the receipts issued by the company dated March 30, 1996 and March 18, 1998, and the acknowledgment issued by the company on March 18, 1998, it was prima facie evident that it had mobilised money in the year 1998.
(3.) IN view of the same, SEBI issued a notice dated July 18, 2002 to the company to show cause within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice, as to why appropriate action should not be initiated against the company and the promoters/directors/persons in charge of the scheme(s) in terms of the provisions of SEBI Act, 1992 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and the Regulations, for non compliance of the various statutory requirements as laid down in the Act and the Regulations.;

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