Thursday, 2 May 2013

Supreme Court defers Sahara case hearing as company seeks more time to furnish refund details



Sebi wasting time, says Sahara's Subrata Roy
 Saharas Subrat roy



Supreme Court defers Sahara case hearing as company seeks more time to furnish refund details

The Supreme Court of India deferred until Wednesday a hearing over the Sahara conglomerate's failure to meet the court's guidelines to repay billions of dollars it had raised from investors through bond sales that were later ruled to be illegal.





Sahara group chief Subrata Roy finally got to meet officials from the Securities and Exchange Board of India in connection with the Rs24,000 crore refund case.

Roy, along with Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava appeared before Prashant Saran, Sebi’s wholetime member, who quizzed them regarding their personal assets and group assets.

Sebi intends to proceed with the sale of immovable properties of the group and refund investor money. It had issued summons on March 26, 2013, to examine and ascertain the details of their personal and group company assets.

During their appearance before Sebi, they were asked to submit the original title deeds of their assets and the investment details of  Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd.

Roy said that he does not own any immovable property and revealed details about his bank accounts.

“The officials have presented details of their personal assets. Subrata Roy’s personal assets were around Rs3 crore only,” a Sahara statement said on Wednesday.

Roy said Sebi was wasting time by not verifying its investor base. adding since a chunk of the monies raised is with Sebi, it remains unreturnable to investors.

Roy said Sebi’s questions were limited to details on official and personal assets.

Earlier in February, Sebi had ordered attachment of Sahara group companies and its directors in compliance with Supreme Court directive for not paying the full amount along with 15% interest to Sebi within February 2013.

Sebi was asked by the Supreme Court to facilitate the refund to the bondholders after checking the genuineness of the investors. Though Sahara had deposited Rs5,120 crore with the regulator, but it had not paid the remaining two instalments which were due in January and February as per the revised timeline given by the court.

Sahara chief mentioned that he would be more than willing to appear before Sebi in future as well.

Coming next in the battle is the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) hearing of Sahara appeal against Sebi’s order regarding attachment of personal assets on Saturday, April 13.

In another upcoming event, the Supreme Court is set to hear Sebi’s appeal on April 22 to detain Roy and to initiate contempt proceedings for non-compliance with its orders to refund money to investors.

The legal battle between Sebi and Sahara started when the former passed orders against the two companies for violating public issue norms under the Companies Act by raising Rs24,029 crore from investors through optionally fully convertible debentures scheme between 2008-11.



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