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tamil nadu high courtExpressing displeasure over the illegal procedure of a special court judge to allow a private finance firm, which allegedly cheated depositors of crores of rupees in 2005, to sell its properties without auction at throwaway prices, the Madras High Court today directed attachment of all its 37 properties and settle dues.

Justice Hariparanthaman of the HC bench wondered how the properties of SUS Bankers could be sold without holding a public auction and expressed displeasure over the illegal procedure adopted by the special court judge here.

The special court was established to hear cases booked under Tamil Nadu Protection of Interest of Depositors Act.

The properties had been allowed to be sold to persons identified by the firm, the judge said deprecating the presiding officer of the court.

He also directed officials concerned to file a petition before the special court to cancel the sale agreement, besides taking steps to sell the properties through public auction so that proceeds could be used to settle claims of depositors.

Impleading the Home Secretary suo motu in the case, the judge directed him to take steps to attach in four weeks all 37 properties which the firm claimed it owned since 2005.

He criticised officials for not taking any step in the past 10 years to make absolute the interim attachment of some properties and said the process should be expedited at least now and the public auction of properties advertised in newspapers before April 16.

The judge directed the depositors to also approach for settlement.

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