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Kochi businessman waiting for SEBI to settle his dispute on shares with PI Industries

- September 23, 2021

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 23 (BPNS)

Babu George Valavi ,73, a Kochi-based businessman, and his four close relatives had brought 3500 shares of Udaipur-based Mewar Oil & General Mills an unlisted company that was making edible oils at that time. This was in 1978 and over the years the company changed its name to Pi industries and expanded its business to chemicals and pesticide manufacturing and how has a market cap of about Rs 50,000 crore.

The Kochi-based Babu is now fighting the company to reclaim his stake which has now grown to Rs 1448.5 crore in the 43 years since he has invested in the company.

Babu George Valavil while speaking to BPNS however said, “The company has denied our claim now and said that it has transferred the shares to other people in 1989.”

The Kochi-based investor asks the pertinent question, how can the company transfer the shares if he had not signed and given the rights as the original share certificates are safe in his cupboard.

When Babu and his relatives bought the shares they had got 2.8 percent stake in the company and now the ownership of the Valavi family translates to 42.28 lakh shares. On Thursday, Pi Industries had a market value of 3219 Rs per share and the total amount would be around 1448 crores in the market.

Babu said that he had forgotten about the investment in the company over the years and it was when his son started managing the finances of his business, that he found the original shares. His son approached Karvy consultants, who are the registrar of Pi Industries to Demat their shares, as Pi Industries was already listed in the stock market.

The Valavi family then contacted, the company Pi Industries upon instructions from Karvy Consultants but to their dismay and shock received a reply from the company that their shares were already transferred in the name of other people in 1989 itself.

Babu asks a pertinent question, “ The original share certificates are safely in my home, then how can the company transfer the shares to a third party. There are lot of discrepancies in this matter and on our enquiry we found that the shares are transferred in the names of 13 people and all Udaipur natives.”

The Kochi businessman said that the sale of their share according to company records was executed on one single day and that this can never be true as his family members reside at different places.

He says, “The transfer of shares was done by one G.C Jain who was the then Company Secretary of Pi Industries and 500 shares were found transferred in the name of one Madhu Jain and the address of that person is the same of that of G.C. Jain. Madhu Jain is either the wife or daughter of G.C. Jain.”

Babu and the other shareholders including his brothers and sister are senior citizens and he feels that even after filing a complaint with SEBI six years before he has yet to get a  concrete reply.

The 73-year-old said,” If SEBI, which is considered as the last resort of an investor is not acting on time and providing confidence to the investor, then what is the point. This will give a wrong message to several investors that SEBI and the Government of India are not acting properly in the matter. I need justice and justice cannot be delayed.”

He said that the company Chairman and deputed two directors of the company, Rajnish Sarna and C.H.N. Rao to meet Babu and they met him and discussed with him in 2016 January at Kochi. He said that both of them agreed that Babu’s claim was genuine but even after  five and half years nothing happened.

Pi Industries has now entered into a joint venture with Kumiai Chemicals on 22nd June 2017. Kumiai Chemicals is a Japanese Company and Babu  Valavi said that Japanese companies and other European companies will have strict code of conducts in entering to Joint Ventures like this.

He says, “How can a company like Kuimai which is a Japanese entity have a long term association with a company like Pi Industries which is under shadow in not disposing of my genuine grievance.”

Babu George Valavi and his family members are expecting that justice will prevail and that they would get their due shares even if there was a delay. He wants the SEBI and Government of India to meticulously follow the case and bring justice to him so that investor confidence in an agency like SEBI is regained.

Those who are in the know of stock markets said that the puzzle can be solved only when it is understood as to how duplicate shares were issued on the original shares of Babu George Valavi and his family members.