New Delhi, January 12
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to extend the February 6 deadline for payment of Rs 600 crore by the Sahara group and made it clear its chief Subrata Roy would be back in jail for any default.
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A three-member bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, however, allowed the group to transfer 35 million pounds (Rs 285 crore) lying in Sahara’s bank account in London to the Sahara-SEBI account here. This would help the group in mobilising Rs 600 crore.
Sahara’s senior counsel Kapil Sibal pleaded that his client was finding it difficult to raise funds in the wake of denomination of high value currency notes which had affected the economic activity, particularly the real estate business. But the bench was not convinced.
The bench also reminded Roy that he had been on parole for nearly 10 months by paying specified amounts every two months despite the fact that parole could be granted only for a few days.
In response to a query, Sibal said the group had so far paid about Rs 11,000 crore, including Rs 1,300 crore during the parole period.
Sibal pleaded that the bench go into the claims of Sahara that the entire Rs 24,000 crore had been returned to people who had invested the group companies’ debenture issues and documentary evidence to this effect had been given to SEBI. But the bench said this aspect stood closed.
The bench asked SEBI about the steps to be taken in the event of the group’s failure to return the investors’ money. Senior counsel Arvind Datar said the stock market regulator had already filed a plea for attaching Sahara’s properties for the purpose of auction to recover the investments.
The bench, which included Justices Ranjan Gogoi and AK Sikri, slated the next hearing for February 7. The apex court is hearing SEBI’s contempt petition against Sahara for its failure to return the investments.