Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu has ran into fresh trouble with the Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) seeking his prosecution in a Rs700 crore land grab case in Madhya Pradesh.
The case pertains to 200 acres of land in Ratlam and the SFIO, which wants to prosecute Asaram and his son under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and Companies Act 1956, recently send its recommendation to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in this regard. "We have received the recommendation from SFIO to prosecute Asaram Bapu, his son Narayan Sai and some others in the case and its under consideration," said a senior official from Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The land, located on the Delhi-Pune freight corridor in MP belongs to Jayant Vitamins Limited and was allegedly grabbed in 2000 and is being used by them since then, sources said. JVL is a public limited company which was delisted from the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2004 for defaulting on the mandatory listing fees which companies pay to the stock exchanges to list themselves.
The company used to be a major player in glucose and vitamin supply to other pharma companies.
Interestingly, though JVL did not complain about the matter, a shareholder of the company approached the Ministry with the complaint of mismanagement (of company's properties) following which it (ministry) transferred the complaint to SFIO in 2010 for investigation.
The SFIO after investigating the case over two years now, sent its recommendation to the Ministry.
Asaram was recently in the eye of a storm over his remarks on the Delhi gang-rape victim.
The Asaram Ashram, meanwhile, denied that either Asaram Bapu or his son were involved in any land-grabbing case.
According to the statement issued by the Ashram, SFIO had not approached Asaram Bapu or Narayan Sai.
"We request the mediapersons to present the story after taking the fullest information of the facts," read the statement, adding that media must not "toy with the beliefs of the people" who were associated with Asaram Bapu.