Supreme Court provides breather to Sahara
In a major relief to Sahara Group's two real estate companies, the Supreme Court Wednesday asked market regulator SEBI to accept their pay order of Rs.5,120 crore as part payment of the investors' money they had collected through optionally fully-convertible debentures (OFCD).
The apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar Aug 31 directed the Sahara companies to deposit Rs.17,400 crore with 15 percent interest with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) within three months, which the company failed to do.
The apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir Wednesday said that besides depositing Rs.5,120 crore, the Sahara Group companies - the Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation - would deposit remaining amount in two instalments.
The court said that Sahara would deposit a sum of Rs.10,000 crore in the first week of January next year and the balance amount in the first week of February.
If the company failed to pay the first instalment, the SEBI could seize their account and recover money in terms of Aug 31 order, it said.
The court directed Sahara to submit all the relevant documents to the market regulator within 15 days.
The court brushed aside SEBI senior counsel's submission that the court should recall his objections that the Aug 31 order should have been modified by the judges who passed it.
Another senior counsel, Vikas Singh, who appeared for a group of investors, said the court is passing the order in the guise of protecting the interest of investors and they are not being heard.
That is not fair, he said.
The court Aug 31 directed the Sahara companies to return to investors Rs.17,400 crore with 15 percent interest that they had collected through OCFD in 2008 and 2009.