The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) will hold its final hearing on Tuesday on Sahara group chief Subrata Roy’s plea against SEBI’s attachment order of his bank accounts and other assets, along with those of two group firms and their top executives.
Mr. Roy has approached the SAT against the attachment orders issued by SEBI last month. The Tribunal, in its last hearing in Mumbai on Saturday, had decided to continue to hear the matter here in New Delhi on March 26.
The matter relates to a Supreme Court direction ordering refund of more than Rs. 24,000 crore of investors’ money raised by two Sahara group firms - Sahara India Real Estate Corp. Ltd. and Sahara Housing Investment Corp. Ltd. - through issue of bonds, wherein SEBI has been asked to facilitate the refund.
After expiry of the court-set deadline for the refund, SEBI in February issued attachment orders against the two firms and their top executives, including Mr. Roy.
Roy’s appeal against SEBI’s order has been listed by SAT for ‘Final Hearing’ on Tuesday. Also Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd would be part of the proceedings “For Orders” in the case.
During the day-long hearing before SAT on Saturday, Sahara counsel questioned SEBI’s action of attaching Roy’s property, saying that neither he was issued a show-cause notice and nor SEBI followed the procedure of securing an enabling order from a judicial magistrate.
Ganesh also argued that the SEBI Act did not invest the market regulator with the powers of seizure and attachment, while claiming that Roy was not even a director of the two concerned companies.
Countering Sahara’s claims, SEBI counsel sought dismissal of the plea by SAT and said that the Supreme Court order in the case was self-explanatory and executive in nature, while Sahara had been given many occasions to present their case.
After hearing the two sides, SAT in its last hearing observed that prima facie it looked like Sahara was seeking it to interpret the operative side of a Supreme Court order dated February 8, and the best place for them to do so was in the apex court.
In the meantime, SEBI has approached the Supreme Court seeking orders for detention of Mr. Roy and this plea has been posted for hearing in the first week of April.