The government of Karnataka informed the High court on Wednesday that it has attached properties belonging to Roshan Baig, the former minister and ex-MLA accused in the 4,000 crore IMA ponzi scam.
Baig, once an influential seven-time Congress MLA from Shivaji Nagar constituency in the heart of Bengaluru, had resigned in July 2019 when 17 other MLAs from the ruling Congress-JDS had stepped down to facilitate the BJP in coming to power in Karnataka.
He had tried many times to then join the BJP and contest again, but was not allowed in the party.
In November 2020, he was arrested by the CBI for his role in the ponzi scam where thousands of people were cheated of their savings.
The Karnataka government informed the high court that his movable and immovable assets, based on his declarations on his election affidavits, have been attached to recover the money lost by gullible depositors.
The IMA was a scheme that attracted thousands of people, who invested their money in it assured of high returns in ‘halal’ (or shariah-compliant) investments. The kingpin of the scam Mansoor Khan had told investigators that he paid over 400 crore to Baig before the elections in 2019.
Both Baig and Khan are out on bail, while investigators go about trying to recover money lost by the depositors.
Baig’s fixed assets and bank accounts have been attached based on his election affidavit. However, there is a 10 crore donation made by the IMA to a government school in Shivaji Nagar. The government is yet to decide on how to recover this, its counsel told the court.
The court then asked the government how deposited money can be given away as charity and why it can’t be recovered. It has asked the government to make a clear stand on how it will recover the amount before the next hearing on July 19.