Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, who has been restrained from going abroad for failing to refund Rs. 20,000 crore investors money, on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking its permission to go overseas for business purposes.
A bench of justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.S. Khehar said that it would hear his plea on January 9 when the main case for handing over title deeds of Rs. 20,000 crore of group’s unencumbered properties to SEBI would be taken up for hearing.
Senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, appearing for Mr. Roy, submitted that his client has some business overseas and he is needed there. He submitted that Roy would come back to country within three days of the notice period.
The bench, after hearing his arguments, said that it would consider the plea on January 9 and also asked the SEBI to respond on the nature of title deeds handed over to it by the group.
Tightening the noose around Sahara group for not refunding Rs. 20,000 crore investors money, the Supreme Court had on November 21 last year barred Mr. Roy from leaving the country and also restrained it from selling any of its properties.
The apex court had said its order for handing over title deeds of Rs. 20,000 crore unencumbered properties to SEBI was not followed by the group in “letter and spirit” and prevented Mr. Roy along with other directors of the group Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary from leaving the country.
In his application, Mr. Roy pleaded the apex court to consider his plea sympathetically and allow him to visit UK and USA.
Three contempt petitions filed by SEBI against Mr. Roy, the two firms — Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHIC) — and their directors are pending before the court.
It had on August 31 last year directed the Sahara group to refund Rs.24,000 crore by November end. The deadline was further extended and the companies were directed to deposit Rs 5,120 crore immediately and Rs 10,000 crore in first week of January and the remaining amount in first week of February.
The group, which had handed over the draft of Rs 5,120 crore on December 5, has failed to pay the rest of the amount.
The two companies, their promoter Roy and directors Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary were told to refund the collected money to the regulator.
Earlier, the Group agreed to hand over documents of its 71 properties which it claimed to be worth Rs 20,000 crore as security with the SEBI for refunding investors money.
The court had granted time to SEBI to verify the genuineness of the property deeds submitted by the company and posted the case for the next hearing on January 9.
Sahara said the properties submitted are spread across cities such as Mumbai, Kochi, Noida, Ajmer, Aligarh, Haridwar, Muzaffarnagar, Raipur, Amritsar, Jhansi, Kanpur and Faridabad.