New Delhi: The Supreme Court is set to take up the SEBI-Sahara case again on Tuesday. On July 30, SEBI had made a forceful plea to punish Sahara chief Subrata Roy along with his two firms and their directors for not complying with its order for refunding Rs 24,000 crore to the investors.
The market regulator said Sahara chief Subrata Roy being a promoter of these companies could not escape the responsibility for the alleged disobedience of the court direction.
"There is a willful, deliberate and continuous disobedience of the court's three orders" SEBI's senior counsel Arvind Dattar told the apex court bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice JS Khehar. On Roy, he said he can't escape his liability by saying that he was just a shareholder.
Dattar told the court that two Sahara Group companies - the Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Investment Corp have not complied with the court's orders of August 31, 2012, December 5, 2012 and February 25 directing them to deposit Rs 24,000 crore with the SEBI so that it could refunded the money to investors.
The court was told that Sahara had not contested the SEBI contention that Roy was central to the working of the group and directed its operations.
Dattar contended that the Sahara Group was a single economic entity and Roy was the group's managing karyakarta and he stood at the same footing as other three directors of two Sahara real estate companies and was equally liable for contempt of court.
The court is hearing three contempt petitions by the market regulator against two Sahara real estate companies, their directors, including Roy, for not complying with the apex court order to retrun Rs 24,000 crores of the investors that they mopped up through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCD) in 2008-09.
On August 31, 2012, the court directed two Sahara companies to return to investors Rs 24,000 crore with 15 per cent per annum interest. The court on December 5, 2012, modified the earlier decision and directed the SEBI to accept a deposit of Rs 5,120 crore that the market regulator had earlier refused to accept from Sahara companies.
The judges also told Sahara to deposit Rs 10,000 crore in the first week of January,2013 and the balance in the first week of February.
The court dismissed the Sahara companies' plea on February 25, 2013 for more time to deposit the money.
The Securities Appellate Tribunal on October 18, 2011 directed the two Sahara real estate companies to refund the money raised from investors.
(With Additional Information From IANS)
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