The AgriGold issue relating to repayment of deposits to lakhs of investors has come back to square one with the Zee Essel group on Monday backtracking on the repayments, which is the main issue in the entire crisis.
The Zee Essel group that owns Zee TV network headed by Subhash Chandra and politician Amar Singh, told the Hyderabad High Court that they will only be taking over the properties of the Agri Gold company, which hit the headlines due to massive scam by its promotes.
The group refused to take over the management and take up the responsibility of repaying money to the depositors. The High Court directed the Andhra Pradesh government to file a counter within a week.
In September last, the Zee Essel Group met Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and expressed willingness to take over the firm.
The same was informed to the High Court bench by the CID, which was dealing with the AgriGold issue. The court gave a month’s time to the Essel group to study and come with an offer.
The Essel group also wanted to meet the former heads of departments of the Agri Gold who are in jail to gather firsthand information on the company’s status. Then the company deposited the required amount with the High court.
Following the development, Naidu government asked all the depositors to register themselves with Protection of AP depositors’ website and include all their details, so that they could be submitted to the court. However, the hopes of the depositors crashed with the Essel Group backtracking in the last minute.
AgriGold owns Rs 6,380 cr to over 32 lakh depositors spread across several states. Out of this there are 9.07 lakh depositors who have deposited more than Rs 20,000 aggregating to Rs 4,473 cr and another 23 lakh depositors with less than Rs 20,000 summing up to Rs 1900 cr.