Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the custodian of assets of Harshad Mehta to release the staggering amount of Rs 1995.66 crore to the Income Tax department, to clear their dues.

The I-T department had moved the High Court to claim its dues for the 10-month period when the securities scam perpetrated by the Harshad Mehta Group’s (HMG) 'Big Bull' hit the market in 1991-92.

Justice D K Deshmukh, presiding over the Special Court (Trial of Offences relating to Transactions under Securities Act, 1992) on Friday ordered for the amount to be handed   over from the funds of HMG, which is presently in the possession of a custodian, appointed by the High Court.

The apex court had on February 21, in an interim order directed the High Court to disburse the dues from the amount with the custodian. The SC had however observed that if the order is reversed, the money would have to be returned.

Apart from dues of the IT department, the High Court has also directed the custodian to pay Rs 25 crore to CanBank Financial Services and Rs 200 crore to the State Bank of India. The banks have also been directed to give a similar undertaking.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee, set up for the 1992 scam, had estimated the quantum of the scam at approximately Rs 4,400 crore.

The details of the assets and liabilities of the group provided to the court by the custodian state that the HMG (including the assets and liabilities of Harshad Mehta’s mother Rasilaben and sister-in-law Rina) had total assets worth Rs. 3,204.92 crore and liabilities worth Rs. 28,336.33. The liabilities were in excess of assets by Rs. 25,131.41 crore as on December 12, 2010.

(Agencies)