SEBI: Many Mumbai IT defaulters operated from dingy 'chawls'!

In a new announcement, the SEBI has published a black-list of 'untraceable defaulters', some who are missing since 2014, and hence it has been unable to serve them the Notices of Demand. A few of the SEBI listers operating from tenements are: Prakash Gaurishankar Joshi, from Dilkhush Chawl No. 3 in Borivali east, untraceable since August 2018; Ashok Bhagat of H-19 Ramji Gupta Chawl in Santacruz west, unavailable since June 2014 and for another demand notice since August 2019. There is also Mahesh Mistry with an address at No. 1 Manraj Driver Chawl in Andheri east, and other addresses at Marine Lines, Fort, Vile Parle and in Thane, out of bounds since July 2014, August 2018 and May 2019 for multiple demand notices that remain unserved.

 In a curious revelation, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has found that several 'missing' Income Tax defaulters were operating from dingy chawls in Mumbai.

In a new announcement, the SEBI has published a black-list of 'untraceable defaulters', some who are missing since 2014, and hence it has been unable to serve them the Notices of Demand.

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A few of the SEBI listers operating from tenements are: Prakash Gaurishankar Joshi, from Dilkhush Chawl No. 3 in Borivali east, untraceable since August 2018; Ashok Bhagat of H-19 Ramji Gupta Chawl in Santacruz west, unavailable since June 2014 and for another demand notice since August 2019.

There is also Mahesh Mistry with an address at No. 1 Manraj Driver Chawl in Andheri east, and other addresses at Marine Lines, Fort, Vile Parle and in Thane, out of bounds since July 2014, August 2018 and May 2019 for multiple demand notices that remain unserved.

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One Jayesh Shah has given an address at 82, Kishan Chawl in Borivali east, a commercial premise at Crystal Plaza in Andheri west, a building in Bhayander town of Thane, but since he is not traceable, his demand notices of July 2014 and December 2017, could not be served.

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Vinod Patel of Patel Building in Fort is 'missing' since December 2017; Kina Dilip Mewada of Naigaon in Mumbai and BP Road in Thane are not traceable since August 2018, according to SEBI.

The list has one Sunil D. Ingawale of Jain Nagar in Bhayander east, not available since August 2018; Pankaj Saraiya with addresses of Andheri west and Vile Parle west, apparently gone 'missing' since June 2021; and the most recent addition, Hussain Sattaf of Cuffe Parade, who is not traceable since March 2022.

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These defaulters -- who have to cough out unspecified amounts of dues -- are missing for the past between eight years to eight months, from one or multiple addresses that are available with the market regulator.

Admitting to the 'untraceable defaulters', the SEBI said that it has not been able to serve the Notice of Demands on them "at their last known address".

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The SEBI Recovery Officer Suchismita Sahoo has called upon these 'untraceable' nine defaulters and members of the public who have any information on them, to send letters or emails by January 14, 2023, though again, no telephone or WhatsApp number is provided.

A couple of days ago, the SEBI had published a list of nine companies in Mumbai and neighbourhood which have been similarly 'untraceable' for over two years.

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A banking expert and Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC) Convenor Vishwas Utagi termed it as "a serious matter" that such defaulter companies and individuals have disappeared off the radar and sought a probe, while welcoming the SEBI's pro-active year-end moves.

He pointed out that these defaulters are liable to pay up their dues and various government taxes, but if they fail to come forward, the SEBI and other agencies can invoke relevant laws to attach and sell off their assets to recover the outstanding amounts.

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