In what can be termed the toughest action yet in the Indian corporate history, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordered the freezing of bank accounts of two Sahara Group companies.
The two companies are: Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd., and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd. The freezing of bank accounts comes into effect immediately.
The market regulator has also ordered the attachment of properties of the two companies, their top executives, including the Group Chairman Subrata Roy.
The late evening action of SEBI comes in two separate orders running to several pages against the two Sahara firms.
The ‘end game’ for the Sahara Group in the case relating to the non-refund of Rs.24,000 crore deposits to the investing public was scripted last week when the Supreme Court gave SEBI the leeway to freeze accounts, and attach properties of defaulting Sahara Group.
The SEBI has also asked the two Sahara firms to furnish within 21 days details of their investments not enumerated in its order.
Following the order, Sahara India Estate Corporation also can’t operate demat accounts, and redeem mutual fund units owned/held by it. Further, it is prohibited from transferring any shares held by it in any company to anybody.
Sahara Housing is told to furnish details relating to its development rights, its special purpose vehicles and its stakes.
While ordering the attachment of the movable and immovable properties of Mr. Roy and three other executives (Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shanker Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary), the market regulator has also restrained them from ``alienating, disposing or in any manner encumbering’’ the properties standing in their individual names.