The Supreme Court has ordered attachment of all properties of the Mumbai-based Goenka family that owns popular restaurant chains like Rajdhani, Falafels, The United Sports Bar & Grill, and Palette and has strategic investments in Mad Over Donuts, Masala Library, Social, Smoke House Deli and Farzi Cafe.
A group of investors had moved Sebi and then the SC alleging that the Goenkas of Mirah Group, through illegal collective investment schemes, had defrauded about 18 lakh investors of some Rs 4,900 crore and siphoned off part of the money outside India, a charge that the Goenkas refuted.
Mirah Group chairman Omprakash Goenka said the order covered only the real estate business.
SC orders forensic audit of Goenkas’ group cos
A bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Abhay Manohar Sapre has appointed a fourmember committee to oversee the sale of properties belonging to Royal Twinkle Star Club, Citrus Check Inns and their associates/sister concerns all belonging to the Goenkas. The court has also appointed global major Deloitte to carry out a forensic audit of all the group companies, currently numbering about 88, with the option to include other companies owned by the Goenkas if they are found, said Rahul Gaikwad, partner, Gravitas Legal, one of the counsels for the investors.
Speaking to TOI, Omprakash Goenka, chairman, Mirah Group, said its restaurant business is under a separate group and the SC order does not cover these outlets. “The SC order covers only the real estate business,” said Goenka.
On April 26, the SC bench had ordered representatives of Sebi and the petitioners, along with resolution professional (RP for NCLT) to meet. At the meeting it was decided that the apex court should give directions about formation of a sale-cum-monitoring committee and the steps it should take. Subsequently, a panel comprising the RP, one Sebi representative, one investor representative and one representative of Royal Twinkle Star Club, Citrus Check Inns and their associates/sister concerns was formed. It will now appoint registered valuers to value “the properties unearthed during the insolvency process of Royal Twinkle Star Club and Citrus Check Inns”, including their associates and sister concerns.
“We also appoint Deloitte as the special auditor to carry out the forensic audit not only of Royal Twinkle Star Club and Citrus Check Inns but of their associates/sister concerns, which at present number 88. If any more sister or associate concerns are unearthed after the date of this order, they shall conduct a forensic audit for the same,” the SC order said.
The judges also directed promoters and directors of companies controlled by the Goenkas to “disclose on affidavit their personal assets worldwide before this court within eight weeks”.