Asks it to spell out its position to refund over Rs.24,000 cr with interest
The Supreme Court, on Monday, while pulling up Sahara group for the delay in refunding the deposits to its investors, asked it to spell out on Tuesday whether it would be in a position to refund the entire amount of over Rs.24,000 crores with interest within a week.
Even as senior counsel Gopal Subramanium was explaining the background about the case, a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices S. S. Nijjar and J. Chelameswar told the counsel “You have no intention of returning the investors money. Your intention is very shaky. Your every step is shaky. We can’t interpret our order according to your need. You are justifying your conduct, which is not justifiable. Unfortunately you are doing so”.
The Bench then asked Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) to inform on Tuesday whether they would be able to refund the money or not.
The Sahara real estate companies have challenged the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) order rejecting their plea to direct its registrar accept a pay order of Rs.5,120 crore that it had to deposit to SEBI towards the payment of investors’ deposits by November 30.
Senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), told the court that they had not deposited any money as directed by the Supreme Court. He submitted that Sahara companies had invested the investors’ money in various projects across 63 cities and they were claiming that “they have refunded everything (the investors’ money) except Rs.5,000 crore.”
Mr. Datar told the court that SEBI had filed a contempt petition that Sahara group of companies had not complied with the Supreme Court order. He said “They have to pay Rs.17,000 crore plus 15 per cent interest thereon”. Even as he opposed Sahara’s petition, the CJI said “we are more concerned about the common man, who has invested his money in the companies. If you (SEBI) want me to send them to jail, we would send them”. Hearing will continue on Tuesday.