Raps Sahara for delaying Rs 24,000-cr refund, issues ultimatum to chief, directors

The Supreme Court today pulled up Sahara group for not refunding Rs 24,000 crore to investors and said that Sahara chief Subrata Roy and directors of its two companies will have to appear before the Court if its order is not complied with.

A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.S. Khehar also came down heavily on the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) for restraining SEBI from taking coercive action against Sahara, as ordered by the apex court.

The Bench, which said that the Sahara group must refund the amount by August 31 or face personal appearance, however, refrained from passing orders as Roy’s counsel pleaded that no such order be passed without hearing him. The case was then posted for hearing on July 24.

“Comply with our judgment or we will pass orders. Pay the amount or face personal appearance before the court,” the Bench observed, expressing displeasure at Sahara group not depositing Rs 24,000 crore with SEBI for disbursement to nearly three crore investors. Last August, the Court had directed the Sahara group to refund the amount by end-November. This deadline was extended and the companies were directed to deposit Rs 5,120 crore immediately, Rs 10,000 crore in the first week of January and the rest in February first week. Sahara has so far deposited Rs 5,120 crore with SEBI. The Bench also restrained other courts and tribunals, including SAT, from passing any order in the matter.

“No High Court or SAT shall pass any order pertaining to our August 31, 2012 judgment,” it said, adding that SAT had no business to pass orders on a Supreme Court verdict.

(This article was published on July 17, 2013)
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