The particulars of the Solomon James writ 383
The Solomon James writ 383 was first heard in the Supreme Court on the 9th of September 2011 and after a few hearings, the court ordered the formation of the Lahoti Committee on the 14th of November.
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties.
In our considered view, it is a fit case where a serious attempt should be made for an amicable settlement of the dispute between the parties through the intervention of a learned mediator.
We, accordingly, request Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.C. Lahoti (Former Chief Justice of India) to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement between the parties.
Due to the fact that only 115 panelists are signed and registered on the James writ, to date a big question mark has loomed over who exactly the writ benefits – namely the 115 panelists signed on the writ, or the entire 1.2 million panelists of Speak Asia.
A few days ago Justice Lahoti, in charge of the mediation process between Speak Asia and its panelists, clarified that the Lahoti Committee ‘mediation proceedings are for the panelists who have filed the case and all the related matters would be examined‘.
Naturally upon the revelation of this, a bigger question was raised as to whether or not the writ itself covered every panelists of Speak Asia, or just the 115 signed.
This I believe can be answered by sharing what we know of the James writ. As of yet, despite the writ having the potential to represent 1.2 million of Speak Asia’s members, the specifics of it haven’t been made public, until now.
Here’s what we know.
There are 115 petitioners & Mr. Solomon James is the authorized signatory and has signed the petition on their behalf.
The respondents are:
1. Union of India through the Ministry of Finance
2. Reserve Bank of India
3. Speak Asia Online Pte. Ltd.
4. Haren Ventures Pte. Ltd.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has impleaded Central Board of Direct Taxes as Respondent No. 5 & the Economic Offenses Wing of Mumbai Police as Respondent No. 6.
Being a petition, the James writ could very well stand to represent all panelists, despite the mediation process of the Lahoti Committee only mediating in respect to the 115 signed panelists on the writ.
Closer inspection reveals that
The prayer in the petition is:
a) Issue a Writ of Mandamus, a writ in the nature of mandamus and /or any other appropriate writ and/or direction to Respondent No. 3 (Speak Asia) to disburse the payments due to the Petitioners & other panelists against the reward points earned by the panelists.
Also to direct Respondent No. 4 (Haren Ventures) to refund the subscription amounts due to the Petitioners & other subscribers for the period the e-magazine was not provided.
Interesting to note here that the Speak Asia’s membership fees were handled not by Speak Asia, but by one of CEO Harender Kaur’s private shill companies, Haren Ventures.
The writ petition also clearly states that Solomon James and the signed panelists are seeking not only refunds (either partial or whole) of their membership fees, but also ‘the payments due against the reward points earned by the panelists‘.
It’s worth noting at this point that with access to Speak Asia’s website database, the EOW stated this figure is 30,000 crore in payouts (5.8 billion USD), whilst the company only managed to raise 2,200-2,400 crore (431 – 470 million USD) from membership fees.
In relation to the James writ, Speak Asia has reportedly filed an affidavit stating their commitment to pay panelists their dues. How this is possible with a 5.4 billion USD discrepancy between what they owe and money the company took in, remains unknown.
b) Issue a Writ of Mandamus, a writ in the nature of mandamus and /or any other appropriate writ and/or directing that the money so collected from the panelists/subscribers be refunded them in toto as being public money and any investigation shall not put an embargo or hitch in the refund of the same in toto.
Now if I’m understanding the above correctly, they’re asking that no criminal investigation prohibit the panelists being paid their owed money.
The reasoning for this appears to be that the panelists are asserting the money they paid to Speak Asia in membership fees is ‘public money’.
Panelists are members of the public sure, but this was hardly public money. As I understand the definition public money is money of the public, whereas Speak Asia’s panelists used their private funds in an individual capacity to pay Speak Asia.
c) Issue a Writ of Mandamus, a writ in the nature of mandamus and /or any other appropriate writ and/or directing the appointment of san independent committee or to Respondent No. 1 (Ministry of Finance) or Respondent No. 2 (RBI) for the preservation, regulation, monitoring and supervision of the huge public money tentatively more than Rs. 150 crore unless the same is being refunded in toto more than 1 million panelists and investors spread all over the country, including the present petitioners & allowing them to participate in the business activities of the Respondent No. 3 (Speak Asia) to earn their day –to – day livelihood.
This is a big one, and again if I’m understanding it correctly James and the petitioners are asking that either the Ministry of Finance or RBI be asked to supervise the money with Speak Asia that has been frozen so that business operations can continue.
Given the ponzi scheme business model of Speak Asia used between May 2010-May 2011 is what’s being criminally investigated, I don’t see this happening.
Not withstanding the fact that the banks themselves are blocking any transactions of Speak Asia through official channels, with no direction from either the RBI or Ministry of Finance.
A RBI cautionary was sent out warning the banks of facilitating transfers of companies under criminal investigation, but the RBI have confirmed multiple times now that they themselves never instructed any banks to block transactions of Speak Asia. The banks are doing this themselves and will most likely continue to do so until all criminal matters and investigations Speak Asia is involved in are concluded.
Thus this demand by the signed petitioners seems largely useless and mostly dependent on wishful thinking.
d) Issue a Writ of Mandamus, a writ in the nature of mandamus and /or any other appropriate writ and/or directing the said amount to be deposited before this Hon’ble Court in interest bearing account
Again, with all banks in India voluntarily blocking transactions Speak Asia is involved in, I can’t see this happening as the Supreme Court cannot guarantee an absolution of the liability of the banks involved in any such transfer.
e) Such further & other reliefs as the nature & circumstances of the case may require.
This seems to be a general clause, included just incase the petitioners missed something in their other demands.
Continuing on, here are some excerpts of the James writ that are of interest;
Paragraph 16 mentions that the Reward Points can be burnt / redeemed by buying products online or encashed.
Cashed out sure, but redeemed by buying products? Speak Asia never actually implemented this business model – as evidenced, certain parts of the James writ are inaccurate and false.
Paragraph 17 states that the panelists / investors consistently received e-magazine from Respondent No. 4 (Haren Ventures) & the Reward Points from Respondent No.3 (Speak Asia).
This one is interesting, as to date the exact nature of the business relationship between Haren Ventures and Speak Asia hasn’t been made public.
All we know is that Harendar Kaur owns Haren Ventures and is also listed as the global CEO of Speak Asia. Given the charges of money laundering laid out against Speak Asia by the Enforcement Directorate and tax evasion by the Income Tax Department, irregularities such as using shill companies owned by Speak Aisa management to enable the scam only further cast suspicion on the greater business operations of Speak Asia.
Paragraph 19 mentions that Respondent No. 4 (Haren Ventures) was not able to do bulk transfer of funds owing to the RBI circular dated 23/05/2011.
As far as we know, the RBI circular was simply a cautionary that warned against permitting the transfer of funds of companies under criminal investigation (specifically by name, Speak Asia).
The assertion that Haren Ventures was also included in this cautionary is news to us, along with the assertion that the banks are actively blocking transfers with companies merely associated with the business operations of Speak Asia.
Mind you, why Haren Ventures would have reason to transfer any money to panelists is unknown, as all monies were paid to Speak Asia directly for membership (how the company laundered the membership fees afterwards and through which shill companies has been a focus of the EOW’s ongoing investigation).
As you can see, not all is factually correct in the James writ petiton but upon viewing these parts of it, I think we’ve got enough to confirm that, the Lahoti Committee aside, whatever orders the Supreme Court makes in relation to this case will affect all panelists.
Looking forward tomorrow will see a series of court cases relating to Speak Asia being heard.
The Solomon James writ 383
Unexpectedly, last Friday the Supreme Court updated the listing for the Solomon James writ 383 case with a scheduled hearing to take place this Monday 12th December (click to enlarge).
It’s worth noting that in the 14th November order the Supreme Court stated that following the formation of the Lahoti Committee, Justice Lahoti will ‘submit a report to this Court after the mediation proceedings are concluded‘.
Upon this happening, the Supreme Court further ordered that whoever is responsible for such things ‘list this matter immediately after receiving the report from the learned mediator‘.
There is no other reason for this matter to come before the Supreme Court prematurely, so this listing is of great interest as Senior Panelists of Speak Asia are running around telling everyone that this is a committee meeting and not a Supreme Court hearing.
Others still are telling panelists to wait for ‘an official announcement’, as evidently the Supreme Court of India isn’t official enough for them.
Speak Asia Writ 3210
Writ 3210 is listed for hearing on Monday 12th November in the Mumbai High Court and was filed by Speak Asia against the State of Maharashtra (the EOW).
In filing writ 3210 Speak Asia hope to quash any FIR(s) lodged against it in the Raigad District.
Writ 3210 was supposed to be heard on Friday 11th December but was adjourned without being heard (no reason was given).
Speak Asia Writ 3211
Writ 3211 is listed for hearing on Monday 12th November in the Mumbai High Court and was filed by Speak Asia against the State of Maharashtra (the EOW).
In filing writ 3211 Speak Asia hope to quash any FIR(s) lodged against it in the Thane District.
Writ 3211 was supposed to be heard on Friday 11th December but was adjourned without being heard (no reason was given).
Bail Application of AISPA President Melvin Crasto
After being remanded to judicial custody since Wednesday night, Crasto’s bail application hearing continues.
With the prosecutor and Crasto’s defense both having put their arguments forward, the court was to decide on the matter on Friday 11th December but instead once again reserved their decision (as they did on Thursday December 10th) over the weekend.
This matter has scheduled for another court hearing on Monday December 12th.
Speak Asia ‘Special Leave Petition’ 7509/7510
Back in August it seems, Speak Asia took the CID to court (case 5626/2011 heard in Hyderabad District) in the state of Andhra-Pradesh in what appears to be an attempt to pre-emptively stop the CID from investigating them.
This matter was disposed, meaning Speak Asia’s petition to stop the CID from launching criminal proceedings against them was rejected.
I haven’t been able to find any judgement outlining the specifics of this case (the AP High Court website is coming up with nothing for 5626/2011), but Speak Asia appear to have appealed this judgement and the matter is now before the Supreme Court.
Listed for a hearing on Monday 12th December in the Supreme Court is case 7509-7510/2011 (click to enlarge).
Once again Speak Asia appear to be pre-emptively seeking the ‘quashing of criminal proceedings‘ that the CID wish to bring against it as a result of an investigation into the company.
This appeal has been going on for a while and was last heard in the Supreme Court on the 21st of October where Speak Asia sought
- an application(s) for ex-Parte stay
- an exemption from filing c/c of the impugned Judgment
- permission to place addl. documents on record
This is around the time it was reported that Speak Asia submitted a business model to the Supreme Court that they never actually used (October 18th), thus committing perjury.
Now if I’m putting all this together correctly, it appears back in August the CID were ready to launch criminal proceedings against Speak Asia. Naturally not wanting this Speak Asia took the CID to court and lost, on the grounds that their business model was a ponzi scheme.
The matter was subsequently disposed but Speak Asia appealed this judgement against them.
Now the matter is before the Supreme Court and Speak Asia are once again seeking to prevent the CID from launching criminal proceedings against the company, by putting forth a revised business model – one which they never used.
How this deception and fraud plays out for the company in court tomorrow should be very interesting indeed.
I maintain that even if Speak Asia did plan on introducing this product based business model, the fact of the matter is they never did (any panelist can confirm this and they’re lying if they state otherwise).
The CID are seeking to launch criminal proceedings based on the activities of the company using a business model between May 2010 to May 2011, which is drastically different to the model Speak Asia have now presented to the Supreme Court.
Fraud and perjury aside, it’s interesting to note this strategy of Speak Asia’s of trying to pre-emptively quash criminal proceedings against themselves, rather than actually defend any charges brought against it.
Why would a company that has nothing to hide not just simply be confident it could defend itself from any criminal proceedings brought against it by the CID (and other agencies)?
Why instead, without even knowing what charges the CID are going to bring against them, are Speak Asia fighting so hard to squash the criminal proceedings before they are filed?
Most likely, because they know full well that defending, as the EOW put it, ‘the largest MLM fraud in the history of India‘, is bound to be a lost cause.
Furthermore is this case responsible for the delay in action by the EOW, ED and IT from bringing about their own criminal proceedings against Speak Asia?
Hopefully tomorrow we’ll finally get some concrete answers.
The court can seize the money and distribute it, but it won’t happen until Speak Asia was CONVICTED of being a ponzi/pyramid scheme (much like TVI Express did in Australia).
And the court is not going to make SAOL give up most of its assets in India just because a bunch of people have sued it (even though the case is pretty clear cut).
Unless of course, SpeakAsia is willing to do it voluntarily, i.e. voluntarily give up most of its remaining Indian assets to the court, but what are the chances of THAT happening? That would be basically admitting defeat, as there’s not much point to continue running the sham biz if you can’t keep the money.
I can see where Anju’s argument came before though. She claimed that the E-zines were not “published” by SpeakAsia, so subscription fees can’t be counted against SpeakAsia. Now we know for sure that it’s Haren Ventures that’s publishing the e-zines, but the same owner owns both, so it’s clearly a shell game intended for tax evasion and other excuses.
Even SAOL’s own lawyer, Saroagi, (now ex-lawyer) claimed that SAOL published the e-zines. (Speculation) Saroagi found out that he’d be lied to, which is why he quit. (end speculation)
My prediction: panelists would be lucky to get back their membership fee / subscription fee. They can forget about the reward points. There aren’t enough money just to refund the subscription fees, not with 100+ crore left for Singapore a while back. And every day this drags on means more money goes to Phoenix Legal, not the panelists.
Speak Asia have been fighting against the CID since at least August it seems trying to stop them even filing criminal charges against the company. And that’s without even knowing what the CID want to charge them with.
Meanwhile AISPA and the senior panelists have been running around telling everyone ‘see, see, nobody has filed anything against us!’
Speak Asia aren’t going to voluntarily do anything to help the authorities and their investigations.
With tommorow’s surprise Supreme Court hearing, I’m thinking maybe Lahoti worked out that regardless of affadavits filed by Speak Asia stating they wish to pay everyone, mathematically you can’t pay out 5.8 billion USD in reward points with 400 or so million USD in membership fees.
Scam toolkit #11: appeal to ignorance / proving a negative. i.e. “nothing has happened therefore nothing will happen”.
Clearly, the existing assets aren’t even enough to repay all the membership fees, much less any reward points.
Wasn’t there a rumor that floated about a few months back that SAOL plan to refund 90% of subscription / membership dues as the so-called “exit plan”? Did they KNOW they don’t have enough for the RPs? (Sure they did, so…)
Somebody set up a website that just harvested emails with no verification and that was the last we heard of that.
If it was set up by the company then what they were thinking remains a mystery seeing as at the time they didn’t (supposedly) even have access to their database backend.
Nothing concrete about today’s cases but the Lahoti hearing seems like it could possibly be AISPA or someone else trying to implead themselves into the Committee meetings. This is from today’s causelist for the Chambers of the Supreme Court:
An application(s) for impleadment is mentioned along with an office report. No idea what the office report is.
any news oz & chang?
Crasto’s bail plea was rejected, meaning the EOW have something serious on him.
Nothing yet on the other four matters. I’ll do a proper writeup when I’ve got a clearer picture.
Speak Asia’s move to quash the FIR’s against it, writ 3210 and writ 3211 were not heard, they’ve both been adjourned without a hearing again till Jan 5th, 2012.
No word from the Supreme Court yet.
This case has been updated 20th January 2012 in the Supreme Court.
Next hearing: 06/02/2012 (scheduled, may be changed)
Other sources of importance in this case:
*** judis.nic.in/temp/3832011314112011p.txt (Lahoti Committee)
How to find this information?
“Spreme Court India”
–> Case status
–> Name of the case
–> “Solomon Jemes” (search)
–> Petitioner (3 options = Petitioner, Respondent, I don’t know)
–> Year: 2011
–> click “Submit”
–> click on the case to mark it
–> another “Submit” or something similar
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The names of some of the lawyers seems to have been inspired by some musical or something? 🙂
“Adv. Sharma, Sharma, Sharma, Singh, Singh & Singh”
I’m updating this thread with the ORDER from the Supreme Court, dated 6. February 2012:
Some discussions about the order are placed under a newer article / thread.
Some analysing of the claims are done in this thread:
SpeakAsians doesn’t seem to know the difference between ORDER and VERDICT?
Some “official” SpeakAsians refer to the order as “verdict”, and have already started to prepare for restart.
Quote: “SpeakAsia Online are working towards re-starting its operations”.
I picked up this news on SpeakAsia.mobi – a link leading to speakasiaonlinemarketing.blogspot.in/2012/02/update-from-corporate-marketing-team.html
Either do THEY need an “extended doping test”, or maybe I will need one? The 6th February ORDER from the Supreme Court isn’t exactly very positive for SpeakAsia – “First deposit your money here, and then we can discuss other matters later”. 🙂
I wouldn’t have been too happy with that order if I had been running a company in the same situation as they are now. “Deposit your money here” sounds very like “We don’t trust your handling of the money, and we prefer to have the money under OUR control rather than yours”.
The current order is a ‘temporarily order’, or a specific order to some of the parties for what they should do before the next hearing.
* EOW: Give the information needed to Justice R.C. Lahoti
* CBDT: Specify your claims and give them to Justice R.C. Lahoti
* SpeakAsia and Haren Ventures: Wait for a conclusion from Justice R.C. Lahoti, then deposit money according to his orders within 2 weeks from the conclusion.
The order doesn’t include anything about “voluntarily payments”, “using the exit-option” or any other point that was important for SpeakAsia (restart, etc.). It looks more like the order denies voluntarily payments rather than allowing them.
For me, this order seems like a nightmare for SpeakAsia. They are ordered to transfer money (from Singapore or whatever) to India, deposit the money under the control of the Supreme Court, and they haven’t been promised anything in return (except a better chance).
Here’s a quote from The Supreme Court of India – “Jurisdiction”.
The Supreme Courts jurisdiction is very limited in this case, before the criminal part of the case has been handled in the lower court system.
* They don’t have any original jurisdiction in most cases.
* They don’t have the jurisdiction to decide whether or not a business model is legal.
The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction:
They have the right to direct Government agencies if they violates Fundamental Rights.
* Frozen bank accounts may be a violation.
* Mediation between parties may be within their jurisdiction, if the mediation involves Fundamental Rights.
* Support of livelihood is within their jurisdiction.
“SpeakAsia will rise again” is closely connected to the last point. The claim here is:
“Allow panelists to participate in SpeakAsia’s business activities” is only another method to say “allow SpeakAsia to continue its operations”.
Participating in criminal activity isn’t a Fundamental Right.
SpeakAsia is under criminal investigation, which involves criminal activity from the panelists (if SpeakAsia is convicted). Recruiting people into pyramid / Ponzi hybrids is a criminal activity.
Doing fake work in a pyramid / Ponzi hybrid isn’t “criminal activity”, but it isn’t a Fundamental Right either. This activity is totally meaningless in relation to “support of livelihood” for a group of people. It will only reduce the ability to support livelihood for most people in the group.
Ergo, the Supreme Court isn’t qualified to evaluate the case before they have the correct information. They will either have to dismiss parts of the case or postpone it to a future date, until they’re qualified.
“Qualified” is used in the meaning “They don’t have the original jurisdiction that is required to evaluate parts of the case”. EOW will either have to drop their charges, or SpeakAsia must be found “not guilty” in a lower court.
Parts of the case will solve themselves if the criminal case is ended. Other parts might solve themselves if SpeakAsia gets some real clients.
Parts of the case will be dismissed in the final verdict, the parts that are related to “SpeakAsia will start again”.
My second best guess is that they will continue to postpone parts of the case until they’re qualified in all parts. This sounds very unlikely to happen.
Parts of the case will be dismissed in the final verdict, the parts that are related to “SpeakAsia will start again”.
What about the Supreme Courts advisory jurisdiction?
Normally, if they don’t have the underlying jurisdiction then they don’t have the advisory jurisdiction either.
The jurisdiction needed here is the original jurisdiction to decide whether or not SpeakAsia is an illegal scheme.
* EOW and State Attorney have this jurisdiction, because they can drop charges. “We haven’t found enough evidence to support a criminal case in court” shouldn’t be unusual.
* Lower courts have this jurisdiction during a trial, since they can find the party “not guilty”. In this case the lower court is the High Court of Bombay (Mumbai).
As far as I can see, the Supreme Court doesn’t have the right jurisdiction to decide anything about whether SpeakAsia should be allowed to continue or not – within SC’s original and advisory jurisdictions, and as the case is now (quashing of FIRs may change this).
Supreme Courts will usually have the jurisdiction to decide how laws should be interpreted. Laws that may prevent SpeakAsia from doing business is Bank Laws and whatever? I’m not able to analyse this part.
Seriously, I haven’t found anything supporting that SpeakAsia will win this case, neither in the court order nor in other research.
My advise to SpeakAsia?
Select one of the options, pay or not pay.
* Pay if you want to reduce criminal charges or sentences.
* Don’t pay if you prefer money.
@M_Norway Looks like you are good in interpreting Laws but I am really wondering where has OZ gone.
Only this part of Your statement is close to reality rest all is plain theory.
If speakasia doesn’t have real clients, the case would not have come to this stage even. When hoardes of companies have floundered away, this is one company which has chosen to fight the case and is appearing regularly through its lawyers. That is the only point on which all have pinned our hopes on.
Rest all is speculations and guess work…
Yes (to the “smart enough”). Because I don’t try to fake anything, or mislead anyone.
Honestly, I don’t find anything that supports some of SpeakAsia’s claims, the claims related to voluntarily payment through the EXIT-option, and the claim “Let SpeakAsia continue”.
* In the ORDER from the Supreme Court 06/02/2012? NO
* In the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction? NO
* In quashing of the FIRs? Maybe
Do YOU find anything in the order that supports those claims? Do anyone else find it? A few have already pointed this out in SpeakAsia.mobi, so I’m not the first one.
At the current stage, they either need to make EOW and others drop charges against them, or win the criminal case against them in court – in High Court of Bombay (Mumbai).
And they will also have to have real clients if they want to continue with surveys. Doing fake surveys is meaningless both for the panelists and for SpeakAsia.
the supreme court has ADMITTED the petition of the panelists asking for payments and business restart.
the supreme court is AWARE of it’s jurisdiction now for over 60 years .your thesis will NOT change our constitution and the powers it has granted to the supreme court.
if our supreme court is not ’empowered’ as you suggest it would not accept the petition in FULL and would have insisted on removing parts of it BEFORE ADMITTING IT.
if you are trying to understand our judiciary through your ramblings you’re free to do so but our supreme court doesn’t need your hep to understand it’s position.
the only part where you made some sense is when you deciphered that
”as the case is now (quashing of FIRs may change this).”
you may have noticed that all the firs are being contested.
the andhra fir’s are for quashing in the supreme court[petitioner -saol]
the thane and raigarh fir’s are for quashing in the mumbai high court [petitioner -saol]
the khosla fir is for quashing in mumbai high court [petitioner -aispa]
heres a hint for you . saol does NOT need a singe client to be legal.stop worrying about this part.
or win the criminal case against them in court – in High Court of Bombay (Mumbai).-norway
there is NO CRIMINAL CASE against saol anywhere in india.
there are 5 FIR’s lodged in andhra and mumbai under which investigations are being done by andhra CID and mumbai EOW.
aispa has lodged a criminal writ against the EOW and for quashing the mumbai fir.
your attempt to understand this case inside out is laudable
and sometimes you are able to reach close to what our lawyers are thinking .
and the claim voluntarily payment through the EXIT-option, and the claim “Let SpeakAsia continue”..-norway
there you go again.
i told you dint i ,that saol’s affidavit in the supreme court asks for a mediation committee to be set up to oversee the payments it’s wants to make to it’s panelists under it’s exit option.
where is ‘voluntary payment’? why are you putting words in saol’s mouth.
if i go to court and ask for XYZ to be granted and after much deliberation and after including all authorities related to my case, if the court grants me EXACTLY XYZ ,
it is a complete victory .
keep working on this concept, sooner or later you will figure HOW this helps in the idea of “Let SpeakAsia continue”
If SpeakAsia had have real clients, they wouldn’t be in this situation at all. They would have been able to prove they were a real company and not a Ponzi scheme / pyramid.
One motive for “fight as long as you can, and so hard as you can” is all the other businesses. Manoj Kumar has 3 of his other companies involved in this, and he’s in risk for loosing alot more than SpeakAsia. And so are others too, if people starts to suing them for something.
All the other schemes were terminated before they reached the same stage as SpeakAsia. In SpeakAsia they decided to “Let’s continue till we reach 10 million or more!”. Simply said, they got too greedy, and it looks like they’re paying the price for it now.
The EXIT-option was far too stingy. SpeakAsia’s management doesn’t deserve a “YES” to this solution, since it will harm the interests of most panelists (unless SpeakAsia has managed to come up with plenty of real clients, able to support payouts). I’ll guess this case will end up with what’s deserved for most people.
Most people have instincts. If you’re using them you will realize the problems with SpeakAsia’s business model, and be closer to your own ideals of being a man of value (I know you have some similar ideals).
So far, SpeakAsia’s case are mostly supported by having famous lawyers, not by having a solid case. It’s supported by discussions in the court, but not by the court ORDER. It’s not supported by the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court either, as far as I can see (but I haven’t analysed each and every detail in their jurisdiction).
By the way, I do support people’s interests most of the time, but it will usually require people being able to separate real interests from imaginary. Most SpeakAsians doesn’t seem to be able to separate them. I don’t find participating in a scheme to be within real interest for most people.
I just had way to much on my plate this week to deal with so both blogs had to run themselves. I think I’m on top of most things now so I can get back into it.
Perhaps with the downtime readers can appreciate the work that goes into running BehindMLM smoothly and keeping it updated.
@ Oz, you just truly had way too much on your plate this week to deal with so both blogs had to run themselves OR you have actually no more counter to enlightenment on 6th Verdict of highest court? 🙂
“I think I’m on top of most things now so I can get back into it”.
Yeah, you are in the top of own dot com space blogs but not actually in said subject to concern argue against.
Examine yourself what you have told last time in topic of “The conclusion of the Lahoti committee” 🙂
Yeah… because both of my blogs and what I do offline are affected by Speak Asia court cases thousands of miles away. That makes total sense.
I had to do some travelling for the Lantern Festival in Taiwan and other events here. It’s difficult to put together blog posts when you’re out and about and pre-occupied with other things hence the lack of published articles since last week.
I’m in the process of going over last Monday’s hearing and something will be out in an hour or so. In the meantime I stand by that linked article.
What exactly did the Lahoti Committee achieve?
And Speak Asia is being ordered to deposit money with the Supreme Court, as the banks still want nothing to do with them and it appears the court doesn’t trust the company to handle its own fianncial affairs.
Mention of payment hasn’t been made anywhere so there’s no point speculating on it.
@ Oz, Chang, Norway, Sanjeev, Observer
This Supreme Court Order has spread so much ambiguity on the web and the hearts os SAOLs..firstly.. the amount of deposit to be made with SC …Rs. 50/-Crores or Rs 1300/-Crores.. is not clear..
It makes a huge difference in the attitude everywhere.. The way Saol is spending money on Lawyers..Rs 50Crore is okay..but if the figure is actually Rs 1300 Crore..then >>??? a biggggg problem for SAOL..
Question is where is the money? In India??? No.. in Singapore? Probably…but are they/will they bring this amount back?.. Maybe??.. but if they do so to prove their innocence they wouldn’t have earned anything from SAOl all gone down the drain.
The thing is that even if they bring this money (Rs 1300 Crore..the total amount collected was Rs 2300 Crore .. I wonder if they have been left with this 1300 Crore to bring back.)they still have about Rs 28000 Crore to clear the RP Points of Panelists..
the Supreme Court might ask them to deposit more money based on further evidence provided by EOW/Lahoti findings.. what will happen then??
Where the hell is rest of the Money?? You stated in a hush hush way that no clients are required for SAOL to be legal.. now pls explain in detail how can a Legal business run if you have no clients/no Income ?
( now don’t Bull**** me about future income yet to be generated by “VARIOUS ACTIVITIES” of SAOL portal and it being a self sustaining model and GOD coming from Heaven to replenish the bank Accounts of your beloved SAOL seceretly etc..etc..etc..).
Secondly.. the SC in the SC Order it is nowhere stated the legality of the Company. The EOW, I believe, is just getting warmed up.. once the Civil proceedings regarding payment back to Panelists are over, they will take a step forward and file Criminal charge sheets..
The SCHEMERS now, I believe, will slowly start fading away.. as such nobody from Management is there to lead from the front.. the only option for them to win is to wither away in oblivion. Period.
The 1,300cr figure is roughly 1.2 million members x 11,000 rupees in membership fees.
I’ve looked at several news articles and all mention this is the amount Speak Asia duped its members of, as this is the money pumped into the company by members (ignoring sub panels and franchisees buying accounts in bulk, which is where the difference in 1,300 cr and 2,300cr figure the EOW claims comes from).
None of the articles state this the amount Speak Asia are going to have to deposit, nor is there any mention of exit options or the 50cr figure Bahirwani pulled from somewhere.
All the order requests is that the EOW provide Lahoti with their data by February 11th (gleaned from the Speak Asia website database(s)), and that he request this amount from Speak Asia (30,000cr or less if it’s just the signed petitioners + any amounts owed to authorities (income tax?)) and they deposit this amount within 2 weeks.
There is nothing else in the order.
It’s high time CEO Manoj Kumar should come out with another video appearance telling clearly how SAOL plans to settle its liabilities and then restart its operations. Yesterday’s statement released by Speak Asia Marketing Team does not inspire any confidence.
The 2,300 crore are probably far too low, if you look at how this income opportunity really was sold. People bought as many panels as they could afford (within some limits). Some people emptied the family’s bankbox (his sisters’s money), deposited jewelry for loan in bank, etc.
Initial investments from 1 to 5 lakh were not uncommon, per family or per panelist. Visit SpeakAsiaHyderabad.com and take a look at the 4 different “Income plans”, or check 2 of the links Andy posted?
I believe the 2,300 crore should be closer to 15,000 crore. I used the 30,000 crore to calculate average number of panels per panelist, and the average number is between 10 and 15 (or higher, since I used a high number of panelists).
Real clients are the difference between Ponzi / pyramid hybrid and a real business. Doing surveys are meaningless if SpeakAsia doesn’t have real clients to pay for them.
Fake work are meaningless both for the company and for panelists, since the company then will have to use money from new investors to pay for surveys.
SpeakAsia can’t expect to be allowed to continue with recruitments or surveys if they don’t have real clients to pay for them.
Like I said to Sanjeev Khanna – use your instincts rather than your emotions, and try to involve other parts of your brain from time to time. It may come as a shock to you, but it should be worth it.
The reason why there is/was no criminal case against SpeakAsia is probably because it wasn’t registered in India? They had to charge the persons involved instead. Still, the company (in Singapore) has been involved in criminal activity, so I will seriously doubt they will be allowed to continue. I’ll believe both Harendar Kaur and Manoj Kumar will be arrested if they show up in India.
Why on earth do you think they have had payment problems in the last 8-9 months?
The parts that are outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court would have been “inside” if the criminal case was finished (by dropping of charges, or by a verdict in the lower court system).
By the way, welcome back.
You have to take into consideration franchisees and what not who were purchasing accounts to resell off Speak Asia at who knows what rate.
Then of course there is the sub-panels as you point out to consider.
All said and done the EOW got the 2,400cr figure from the Speak Asia website database backend. Unless that database is missing information it should be fairly accurate?
I suppose we’ll find out when Lahoti releases the dollar amount owed sometime over the next week (assuming the writ 383 petition covers all panelists and not just the petitoners as the latest order seems to suggest).
Until the exact particulars of the Lahoti report was made public this Supreme Court order is almost useless and subject to interpretation every which way.
The question here is… WHERE did Bahirwani get his 50 crore figure?
Could the Solomon Jemes and his fellow members who were confirmed to be in the suit racked up 50 crore worth? As the 50 crore clearly aren’t enough for all 1.2 million panelists?
There are a couple POSSIBLE scenarios here:
a) Bahirwani made up that 50 crore figure. If that’s the case, when the real amount comes out he’s through as president of AISPA as nobody will believe him after that.
b) 50 crore covers ONLY the petitioners named in the suit, NOT 1.2 million as claimed. If so, then whoever been insisting that this covers all panelists will be discredited.
c) 50 crore is for everybody. In this case, there will be general revolt of SpeakAsia panelists.
Though the more interesting question remains:
1) Does SpeakAsia *have* 50 crore lying around, NOT frozen by EOW/CID?
2) If so, do they have MORE, if the figure goes higher, like 250 crore or 1500 crore? (I’m just throwing these numbers out) and why didn’t EOW got their hands on those?
The 50 crore figure is absent from the order and has not been quoted anywhere else. The order makes no mention of an additional deposit by Speak Asia (other than any possible monies being owed to the appropriate authorities) so where Bahirwani pulled this figure from is a mystery.
If it exists (and I don’t think it does), there’s no indication it’s got anything to do with payments to panelists (petitioners or otherwise). How could it? The court has only just asked the mediator to look at the EOW’s figures and ascertain what is owed.
If the 50cr deposit does exist (and there’s no indication is does), I’d be much more inclined to say it’s got something to do with the tax Speak Asia owes or something else to do with what is owed to regulators as per their investigations into the company.
If it exists….
WRIT 383/11 has a few statements “Petitioners & other panelists” and similar, so I’ll guess the WRIT covers all the panelists.
Here’s some mathematics (not exact numbers):
30,000 crore = 300 Billion INR = $6 billion USD
$6,000,000,000 / $200 = 30,000,000 panels (max)
30,000,000 / 2,000,000 panelists = 15 panels per panelist
Half of the panels may be re-investments, but …
I didn’t bother to check exact numbers. In most of my statements I have used a very moderate number of panels, usually “between 10 and 15 panels per average panelist”. I used these numbers to calculate the need for clients.
Remember that SpeakAsia was a pyramid/Ponzi. Usually they don’t have exact accounts as other companies. And I believe someone involved might be an accountant? Harendar Kaur or some others. It should be easy to manipulate the accounting for this kind of “business”.
In one of Manoj Kumar’s statements, he claimed the company had invested close to $3 billion USD in hardware and software used to run SpeakAsia. I believe this claim is bullshit, but the amount may be correct for something.
AFAIK, money was sent other places than Singapore?
The court has only just asked the mediator to look at the EOW’s figures and ascertain what is owed.-soapbox
the court has also asked the company to deposit this ascertained amount with the court within two weeks of being given the exact figure.
this deposited money will then be paid by the company to the exit optioners under the watchful eyes of the court.
you have not read the petitioners plea and the saol affidavit in the supreme court, hence you do not realize this payment is only and only for exit optioners.
but your ignorance of court documents is not an excuse to misguide yourself.
if you do not know enough , why talk?
There is nothing in the order to suggest what you are stating. Whilst it might happen, at this point it’s mere speculation and not backed up by anything.
Where Speak Asia are going to pull 30,000cr from (or whatever Lahoti comes up with based on the EOW’s data) is far more relevant in the immediate interim.
Have you got this confirmed by the lawyers?
It’s not confirmed by the ORDER (which someone believes is a final VERDICT).
The Supreme Court doesn’t HAVE TO rule in favour of a party / parties in ALL PARTS of a plea. A court should normally rule in favour of its own judgement skills.
If you don’t have the information confirmed by a lawyer, then it should be better to let our negative comments rule? Because now is a bad time to spread something that might be false hopes or misleading information. Every strategy has its time, and we should usually avoid using the same strategy over and over again.
By the way, did I guess right? You’re either a teacher or a Sumo-wrestler? 🙂
If you don’t have the information confirmed by a lawyer, then it should be better to let our negative comments rule-norway
i definitely have this confirmed by not one ,but several lawyers attached to this case.
nobody is spreading false hopes,we’re not fools.
the court has given it’s first ruling in favor of saol.
DEAL WITH IT.
Did I guess right? Teacher or Sumo-wrestler?
Nobody is spreading false hopes”?
Not spreading correct information may be something similar to spreading false hopes.
Check comments on SpeakAsia.mobi and other places. People generally have an impression of an ongoing payment operation, not limited to a few. Would it have been an idea to post the correct information there?
If you mean the payment only are for EXIT-optioners then people will need this correct information from a reliable source.
So far, Bahirwani’s update from 6. February has created more chaos than necessary, since his “initial update” isn’t confirmed in the court order.
“We’re not fools”?
You were gullible enough to believe that Indians bought “panels” and “subscriptions” to have them on their computers, that there main motives were just to HAVE THEM and were not related to any income opportunity?
You are gullible enough to believe that SpeakAsia doesn’t need clients to pay for the surveys? That they can continue to use money from investors to pay for the work done?
You don’t find it meaningless to do fake work?
I believe it’s time you SHOW US you’re not a fool. Trying to tell us has lost most of its effect.
Update for WRIT 3611/2011 “AISPA vs. State of Maharashtra”, 13.02.2012 – High Court of Bombay (Mumbai).
Next date: 23.02.2012
At least, all Petitioners have been identified.
1. All India Speak Asia Panelist Association (deleted)
2. Melwyn Crasto
3. Ashok Bahirwani …. Petitioners.
WRIT 383 was disposed on September 19th 2012 as “voluntarily withdrawn by the petitioners”.
Here’s the order from the Supreme Court, divided into sections to make it more readable:
Some reasons for dismissing can be found in section 3-8 of the order, some other reason can be found in section 9.
8. Jurisdiction issues.
Point 9 can interfere with other claims in the future.
10. Return the $10 million deposited.
This order was attached to a standard order, stating all the formalities about parties, lawyers and so on, and with a final conclusion about “This case has been disposed as withdrawn”.
The motives for posting the court order here, rather than in a newer and more active thread, was because of just that — it makes little sense to “drown” an active thread in a wall of information.
The Judge has “resumed” the case in the order.
1. Origin of the case
2. What has happened in the case in court
3-7. Information that has affected the conclusion, in detail.
** 3. Investigation about the petitioners.
** 4. Kkhosla’s complaint, FIR 60
** 5. Other involved companies and other details
** 6. Arrests, incriminating documents. Money laundering
** 7. Frozen accounts, Master franchisees
8. The main reason for the conclusion.
9. Important information about payment to a small group of people, in a case with a huge number of other people involved.
10. What to do with the money deposited.
“Criminal in nature”
The SpeakAsia case has clearly been identified to be “CRIMINAL in nature” = to be handled in the lower court system as a criminal case.
This probably means that civil claims will have to be a part of the criminal case (rather than “stand alone” civil claims).
Point 9 indicates that civil claims can’t be handled on an individual level in court. Each person involved must be given equal rights “one for all, all for one”. Point 9 can very well be used as an “instruction” to lower courts.
WHAT TO DO WITH CIVIL CLAIMS?
* Joining a FIR?
I don’t think that method is necessary. It will only give you status as a witness, but I doubt it will do anything with your claim.
* File civil lawsuits?
Nope, this case is “criminal in nature”, and civil claims will have a lower rank.
There’s definitely a need for qualified advices here, in how to solve civil claims. The information needed is probably relatively “basic” and simple.
The information needed is the answer to “How do they solve civil claims in a criminal case, with more than 1 million victims with relatively similar rights?”. The question can be asked anywhere where there’s a chance of getting a qualified answer, e.g. specialised forums, Universities / other law schools, and so on and so forth.
I’m adding something about ZeekRewards in the U.S. here, to be able to compare solutions in both cases — SpeakAsia in India vs ZeekRewards in the U.S.
1. Both cases had a huge number of victims.
* SpeakAsia: 1.2 – 2.4 million members
* ZeekRewards: 1.0 – 2.0 million members
2. Both were hybrids Ponzi/pyramid schemes with fake “work”, “investments” / ROI, and payment for recruitment indirectly or directly.
3. Both schemes had most of their growth in the last 3-4 months before they were “shut down” in different ways.
4. Both attracted “serial scammers” in leading positions, people with experience from similar types of schemes.
5. There’s a difference in how they were shut down, and when they were shut down.
SpeakAsia was “shut down” indirectly in May 2011, while ZeekRewards was shut down in August 2012, 14 months later.
6. There’s a difference in how the cases were handled after the shutdowns.
* For SpeakAsia there was alot of trouble with jurisdictions and which laws that could be applied (because of foreign registration of the business). These problems have continued during the case and do still exist.
* ZeekRewards was “voluntarily” shut down by SEC / a court, where the owner abandoned the ownership for the company and signed it over to a temporary Receiver (a lawfirm), with instructions from the court in how to handle the case.
6a. A Receivership is relatively similar to how a bankrupted company is handled, e.g. in how they are handling assets and restitution to creditors. A Receivership is a civil entity, so it won’t have any jurisdictional problems — it can file claims or complaints across borders like any other civil entity.
7. Both had local ownership and organisers.
* SpeakAsia was organised and owned by Indians, but with a foreign registered company as a front. It also had an organised system for transferring money to “safe” locations outside India.
* ZeekRewards was organised and owned by U.S. citizens, and most of the remaining money was accessible in U.S. or international banks.
8. There’s a clear difference in progress.
* The SpeakAsia case have had very little progress in the restitution of the victims money. There’s a lack of clear plans for how to solve that issue.
* The ZeekRewards case has been organised through the court and the Receiver from day one, with a clear plan to follow.
Some of the logics used in the ZeekReward case can probably be applied to the SpeakAsia case.
RESTITUTION TO INVESTORS:
“Legally returned money”
A Ponzi scheme do not pay salary, interests or anything else legally to the participants, other than that their principal investments can be returned to them.
* Any amount LESS THAN or EQUAL TO their principal investment is their own money being returned to them legally.
* Any amount GREATER THAN their principal investments is “stolen money” and belongs to the other investors.
“Losses can be expected”
A Ponzi scheme will usually NOT be able to pay all investors in full, so the whole group of investors will have to accept losses. HOW those losses will be distributed among the investors will never be equal, and may be affected by how many of the investors who actually files claims.
For SpeakAsia, similar principles can probably be applied.
* All amounts LESS THAN / EQUAL TO the principal investment are legally returned money, it doesn’t make much difference whether the money derives from fake “work”, recruitment or whatever.
* All amounts GREATER THAN the principal investment are “stolen money” and belongs to other investors.
For ZeekRewards, the Receiver can use “clawbacks” from investors who have “earned” more than their principal investments, of the amount greater than the invested amount — if it can be done in a cost effective manner. He will probably have to abandon several small claims and claims that will be too costly, e.g. some claims in other countries.
SCAM RATHER THAN BUSINESS
For Speakasian investors, the logic used in ZeekRewards can be used to interpret their own claims.
* SpeakAsia wasn’t a real business, it was a scam.
* They were scammed when they invested in panels and expected to get paid for doing surveys. It was a false and misleading promise, although the company did pay money to some people to make it look real (but they were scammed too if they received more than their own investment).
* They were scammed when they recruited other people into their downlines and sold panels or subpanels to them. It was only a false and misleading promise, even if the company paid them some money for it to make it look real. They were scammed if they received more than their own investments.
* The company didn’t PAY them, it only RETURNED money paid in by themselves or other investors. And most of the time it only paid in reward points rather than money.
“Making a living out of becoming a victim”
If people feel the survey “work” qualifies for some rights to payment, it’s not supported by any logics used in court.
Ponzi schemes and other scams do NOT pay salaries. They will only return the investors own money, and after that they will pay out “stolen money” from other investors to make the scheme look like a real income opportunity. A court will usually not support any type of rewards for participating in a scam.
In theory, people can make a living out of becoming “professional victims” if the court system starts to allow rewards for parts of scams, like the fake survey “work” in SpeakAsia. Normally you shouldn’t expect to make any profits from participating in a scam, e.g. being compensated for any efforts related to the scam.