PAWAN KUMAR Ruia failed to appear before the CID in connection with recurring fires at his company’s Jessop factory in Dum Dum for the fourth time on Friday. The agency, which had till now sent him four summons, said legal proceedings will begin against him on Saturday. “Pawan Kumar Ruia didn’t turn up even after a fourth summon was issued to him. There was no intimidation from his side. From tomorrow, legal process will be set in motion. As per law, we will let the court know that its orders have been violated,” CID DIG (Special) T K Das said.
The Ruia Group chairman had on Wednesday informed CID that he was ready to cooperate, but had been unable to appear before it as “he was ill and had missed his flight”. The CID had received two letters from him, which stated that he can appear before the investigating team after November 10. Sources said Ruia was in New Delhi till Wednesday.
An FIR was lodged against Ruia on October 18 in connection with a series of fires at the Jessop factory. Earlier, Ruia had twice failed to appear before the CID — on October 26 and October 28. On the second date, he had written to CID officials stating that he was “out of state on business tour” and sought two weeks’ time to appear before them. After he failed to appear on October 28, the CID team had said they will issue a third notice and “on failure to respond even then, we will move court and seek arrest warrant against him”. On Wednesday, after Ruia again failed to turn up, he was issued a fourth notice.
After first notice was issued to Ruia, he had moved the Calcutta High Court seeking quashing of the case against him, claiming that he is neither the chairman of Jessop nor the director, shareholder or an occupier of Jessop and Company Limited or any of its premises. The HC had then directed him to cooperate in the investigation. Vacation Judge Samapti Chatterjee had directed the CID not to take any coercive action against Ruia as long as he cooperates. Sources said with neither Ruia nor his representative intimating the CID about their plans, officers are considering this to be a sign of non-cooperation.
Meanwhile, the Railways has alleged that goods and equipment worth Rs 50 crore, belonging to it were kept at the Jessop factory premises. The ministry was one of Jessop’s customers for manufacturing of wagons. Following this, officials from the CID and a special team of Railways in New Delhi on Friday held a joint inspection of Jessop premises in Dum Dum. Sources said alleging theft of its properties, Railways is likely to lodge a complaint with the local police against Jessop.
“A six-member team of the railway board held a physical verification of the factory. They saw what was still inside and what was missing from the
“They will now come up with a valuation of the total loss they have suffered, following which, they might lodge a complaint,” said a CID official. Sources said the Railways had written to the CID, expressing their desire to visit the factory.
An investigation into the fires at the factory, which was earlier focused only on probable arson and theft, has also revealed the misappropriation of company funds, said sources.
Hence, CID officials are likely to conduct a forensic audit, which is being increasingly used to track down corporate crooks and book-keeping frauds after the Satyam and Saradha scams came to light.
However, the process of collecting actual figures in terms of estimated revenues, expenses and assets of Jessop, has proven to be a tough task.
Another obstacle is that CID officials have still not been able to procure the key to the administrative block of the factory, said sources.