Sahara Group approaches SAT with fresh appeal against Sebi

PTI Posted online: Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : Subrata Roy's Sahara group approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) with a fresh appeal against Sebi, challenging penalty proceedings initiated by the capital markets regulator against Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL).

The Tribunal adjourned till Monday this matter, which was listed for "admission" this morning.

The company in its appeal had challenged adjudication proceedings by Sebi to impose penalty, after the regulator issued show cause notice for non-compliance of its orders.

Later, Sahara sought adjournment till Monday on the ground that it would seek a clarity from the Supreme Court, where contempt proceedings were already pending in the matter related to non-compliance to orders to the group with regard to refund of investor money collected through certain bonds.

In an order passed on July 17, 2013, the Supreme Court had said that "no High Court, Securities Appellate Tribunal and any other Forum shall pass any orders against the orders passed by Sebi in implementation of this Court's judgement dated August 31, 2012".

The apex court on August 31 last year had directed SIRECL and another group company Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) to refund Rs 24,000 crore by November 2012. The deadline was later extended and they were asked to deposit Rs 5,120 crore immediately, Rs 10,000 crore in first week of January and the remaining amount in first week of February.

The group on December 5 handed over a draft of Rs 5,120 crore, but claimed that more than Rs 20,000 crore have already been refunded directly to the investors.

The high-profile case is listed for next hearing in the Supreme Court on January 9, 2014. In its last hearing on December 11, the apex court had pulled up Sahara group for questioning Sebi's action against it for not refunding over Rs 20,000 crore to investors.

The group has agreed to hand over documents of its 71 properties which it claimed to be worth Rs 20,000 crore as security with Sebi for refunding investors money. Sebi has been asked to verify genuineness of these documents.

The court refused to allow Sahara group chief Subrata Roy to travel abroad and also rejected a plea to de-freeze bank accounts of its group companies as ordered by Sebi earlier.

Last week, the government also informed Parliament that Sebi has discovered discrepancies in the claims by the bondholders and the database provided by Sahara Group in the Rs 20,000-crore investors money refund case.