BENGALURU: Interminable progress in adjudication of lawsuits related to Ponzi schemes has prompted the state government to consider the setting up of fast-track courts to try such cases. The move comes against the backdrop of the IMA Group cheating thousands of investors of crores of rupees. Revenue minister RV Deshpande told TOI that the government is contemplating new legislation for Ponzi schemes that will involve fast-track courts to ensure speedy trials. “We have realised that there are certain loopholes in the system that have to be plugged,” Deshpande said. “Fast-track courts for Ponzi cases are among various reforms we are considering.” The IMA Group scam surfaced last week after an audio clip surfaced of its founder-owner, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, threatening to commit suicide. That led to thousands of depositors lodging police complaints against the firm. The case has posed new challenges to investigators. Among them, the firm claimed to be a limited liability partnership in which profits are subject to market risks, precluding police from taking action against it under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments (KPID) Act, 2004. Officials contemplating the new legislation said the department of parliamentary affairs is studying the issue and a bill for the new law is likely to be introduced during the monsoon session of the assembly. Home minister MB Patil said the government wanted to give investigating agencies more teeth. “Police currently cannot confiscate the assets of a Ponzi company even if there is a case,” he said. “There is a procedure to be followed through the revenue department. In the new system, police will have the power to seize properties.” He said the government will create a common platform comprising representatives of the police, revenue, income tax and commercial tax departments to deal with cases related to Ponzi schemes. In the absence of such an arrangement, cases have not progressed and depositors have been left without restitution years after cases were filed. For instance, in the ViniVinc case, an early Ponzi company that unravelled in 2005, only a handful of depositors retrieved their money. In the Ambidant case of last year, 1,700 complainants with claims totalling Rs 600 crore are yet to get back their money as the matter is entangled in legal and procedural quagmires. Government sources said around 17 Ponzi companies are currently facing trial. The government recently took back the power to seize assets that it had handed to the competent authority — the assistant commissioner of revenue. Principal secretary, revenue, Rajkumar Khatri said steps are being taken to restore the power of the assistant commissioner to confiscate assets. LC Nagaraj, assistant commissioner, revenue, Bangalore north subdivision, said the special investigation team (SIT) has identified movable assets including gold jewellery in in the IMA case and on Monday started the process to seize them. “It takes time to initiate the process to seize immovable properties of the IMA Group as the government is yet to restore our power to do so,” Nagaraj said. While police earlier said it could not invoke the KPID Act against IMA, Nagaraj said they now could as the department had received complaints from people claiming that they had deposited money with the firm and Mansoor Khan is now on the run.