The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted six weeks interim bail to Nowhera Shaik, MD of the controversial Heera Group of companies. She was granted bail after she filed an affidavit stating her release from jail is necessary to return money to the investors.
Nowhera Shaik was arrested in October 2018 by Hyderabad police. Later on, cases were filed against Nowhera Shaikh and Heera Gold in different states and by different people, mainly by investors.
The court has ordered her to clear the liabilities of all the complainants in cases where charge sheets have either been filed or complaints have been made.
According to the close aides of Nowhera Shaik who were present during the hearing, an amount of 22 crores will be returned on priority basis in the next six months to the investors who had filed an FIR against Shaikh, Times of India reported.
The court said, “The endeavour of this court is to see that the money invested by the small investors is not lost in the bargain or by the end of the day they get only a fraction of that amount.” Nowhera has been enlarged on an interim bail of six weeks as a probation period for her to show her bona fides to settle the investors’ claims. If she fails, she will be sent back to jail, the court said.
In order to make payments to the complainants, the amounts attached by Maharashtra of Rs 21 crore and by the Enforcement Directorate of Rs 22 crore apart from Rs 6 crore brought by her would be utilised. The apex court said: “This would require the operation of the bank accounts attached. The amounts to the complainants will be paid through the court/police station where an FIR is registered or a complaint is pending.”
Heera Gold, which according to SEBI is a Ponzi Scheme, lured investors in the name of Halal investments and promised high monthly fixed returns. The company systematically targeted Muslims across India and in the Middle East, amassing vast sums of money. The scheme was unsustainable and the group has defaulted in the repayment of the principal amount and promised returns to its investors.