Grace and Augustine Pinto, perhaps the most powerful names in Indian educational sector are now under the SEBI scanner. The tragic murder of a seven year old boy in their school premise in Gurgaon, has opened a can of worms of the unfortunate truths happening in the name of education. After the questionable security lapses with schools premises of the so called international Ryan schools, now reports of the owners Grace and Augustine Pinto coming under the scanner of SEBI has come to light.
An India Today report has raised speculations of the Pintos being guilty of rallying the stock market to launder money. The report further states that India Today is in possession of documents that suggest that the Pintos mysteriously turned a Rs 50 lakh investment into an over Rs 30 crore profit.
According to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) documents seen by India Today, Grace and Augustine Pinto are were some of the investors who used a Mumbai-based Finance company, Kamalakshi Limited to allegedly launder over Rs 32 crore. The same company was later banned by SEBI from trading in the stock market for manipulating prices. The Income Tax department is also enquiring the case now. This could just be the tip of the ice berg of the many irregularities, both financial and institutional in the Ryan Group of Schools. The Bombay high court granted protection from arrest to the founders of the Ryan International Group, and the parents of its CEO, Ryan Pinto, who had sought anticipatory bail in connection with the murder of the seven year old boy.
Meanwhile parents across cities are protesting against Ryan Management demanding action on the serious lapse and more steps to ensure its students’ safety. The Pintos have denied that charge, and have said that students’ safety is a top priority.