THE HARYANA Agro Industries Corporation has been struggling to recover dues of over Rs 1 crore from Manish Mishra, the son of former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, for over a decade. The corporation had provided part of the amount as equity for a floral export venture started by Manish in Karnal way back in 1995.
According to records, Haryana Agro signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Delhi-based Mishan Flora India Limited, of which Manish Mishra was director, on October 17, 1994, for the export of roses from Karnal. It then paid Rs 50 lakh to the private company in 1995 as 9.45 per cent of the total equity share capital in the venture.
Though Manish claims to have established his business at Karnal and exported a record quantity of cut flowers, he failed to return the money to Haryana Agro.
The matter initially reached the Karnal district court before going into arbitration. Thereafter, an arbitration award was passed on June 5, 2002, and Manish was directed to pay Rs 99.81 lakh to Haryana Agro, which included the principal amount of Rs 50 lakh along with 18 per cent interest. But Manish defaulted on the order,
On September 10, 2009, the Karnal execution court issued arrest warrants for Manish but he moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court, while dismissing Manish’s petition, observed, “The court has taken note of the fact that the debtor is the son of an ex-chief minister of the state of Bihar and the executing court was convinced that there was a deliberate attempt to browbeat and get away from the reach of court”.
Since the company had sold off its land in Karnal, the local court, left with no option, transferred the case to the Supaul district court in Bihar for execution of arbitration award in July 2011, as Manish owned property in one of the villages in the district.
Manish, however, said he was making efforts to pay the amount. “The venture did not succeed. We are not running away from the law. I have submitted the entire list of my properties to the Supaul court and have requested the court to sell it and recover the amount.” At the same time, he added: “It is very difficult to sell land in Supaul and the court has asked us to sell it. I don’t exactly know the case details but I am told that my manager has been able to sell around one acre land recently and has deposited Rs 5 or 6 lakh in court. You can verify the details from the court”.
But Haryana Agro Deputy General Manager M P Singh denied having received any amount till date. “The next hearing in the case at the Supaul court is in the first week of March. Our representative has to go there and will check whether any amount has been deposited. If we calculate the total amount to be recovered till date, it would even cross Rs 2 crore,” he said.
Haryana Agro Managing Director Vijay Singh Dahiya added: “What can we say? The case is pending in Supaul. We are trying to recover the full amount with interest”.