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Report No. 143

2.8. M/s. Himachal Pradesh Agro Industries Corporation, Shimla-171002.-

The Commission received 3 complaints from the depositors against this company. These complaints were forwarded to the company. The company vide its letter dated 14-5-1990 responded to the letter of the Commission and intimated that there were 22 depositors whose deposits were in the category pertaining to Rs. 11,000 or less and the total principal amount involved in such deposits was to the tune of Rs 5.8 lakhs.

The company also furnished the information that there were 126 depositors whose individual deposits belonged to the category of less than Rs. 11,000 and the total amount involved in these deposits was Rs. 6.7 lakhs. The company vide its letter (Appendix 'I') disclosed the reasons for the non-refund of the deposit as follows:

(i) The Board of Directors decided not to renew the fixed deposits on maturity with effect from 1-4-1987;

(ii) Non-availability of funds; and

(iii) Increasing losses.

The Commission addressed a letter dated 25-5-1990 (Appendix 'J') to the Chairman of the CLB to exercise its suo motu powers under sub-section 9 of section 58A of the Companies Act, 1956. The Chairman of the CLB was requested that no notices may be issued to the small depositors and they may not be required to be present having regard to the fact that most of the small depositors would find it extremely difficult to spend for travelling expenses and for their stay in a city like Delhi.

The Chairman, CLB, vide his D.O. letter dated 23-10-1990 addressed to the Chairman, Law Commission, informed that the case of the company regarding non-payment of company deposits was fixed for hearing on 15-10-1990. However, on that date the representative of the company failed to appear, and a final opportunity of hearing was fixed for 8-11-1990. The company was further apprised (as per Appendix 'K') that if the company failed to attend the hearing, an ex parte order would be passed directing payment of overdue deposits.

Thereafter, the Chairman, Law Commission, wrote a D.O. letter dated 30-10-1990. (Appendix 'L') to the Chairman, CLB requesting the CLB to do the needful in accordance with the law in order to bring succour to the credulous and unwary small depositors who have been subjected to serious injury and grave injustice for many-many years and that too, by a state owned corporation. In response to the letter, the Chairman of CLB informed that the Himachal Pradesh Agro Industries Corporation Limited, had repaid all deposits except 18 deposits which have not been claimed by the depositors.

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