Deposit Rs.10,000 crore, apex court tells Sahara

Deposit Rs.10,000 crore, apex court tells Sahara

35New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday asked Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs.10,000 crore with the market regulator SEBI for his release on interim bail from judicial custody.

The apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar said that of the Rs.10,000 crore, Rs.5,000 crore would be deposited with the court, and for the balance of Rs.5,000 crore Sahara will furnish a bank guarantee of a nationalised bank favouring the market regulator.

The amount of Rs.5,000 crore to be deposited with the court would be released to the Securities and Board Exchange of India (SEBI) after Sahara complies with the conditions of the interim bail.

Saying that it has gone through the fresh proposal submitted by Sahara Tuesday and it was not in compliance with its Aug 31, 2012, and subsequent orders, the court said it was inclined to grant interim bail to Roy and his two other directors subject to depositing Rs.10,000 crore with the SEBI.

“We are inclined to grant interim bail…on the condition that they would pay the amount of Rs.10,000 crore – out of which Rs.5,000 crore to be deposited before this court and for the balance a bank guarantee of a nationalized bank be furnished in favour of SEBI and be deposited before this court.”

The court said, “We make it clear that this order is passed in order to facilitate further (raising) the balance amount”.

The court declined to water down its orders as the Sahara Group counsel expressed inability to raise such a huge amount while Roy is in jail.

Senior counsel C.A. Sundram appearing for Sahara urged that Roy may be released on depositing Rs.2,500 crore with the SEBI and sought one month’s time for the rest of the amount.

The court adjourned the hearing for Thursday for Sahara and Roy’s counsel to respond to the order on the interim bail.

Sundram told the court that some of the money could be raised only if the freeze order on the accounts of SIRECL and SHICL, the two realty subsidiaries of Sahara, were lifted.

Justice Khehar said that Sahara’s fresh proposal of March 25 was with many “ifs and buts” and that court could consider de-freezing the bank accounts only if it was given the details of the specific bank accounts and amount to be withdrawn.

Sahara Group in a fresh proposal Tuesday offered to pay the SEBI the sum of Rs.20,0000 crore in five instalments starting with Rs.2,500 crore and three subsequent instalments of Rs.3,500 crore each and the final instalment of Rs.7,000 crore.

The court was told the first instalment of Rs.2,500 crore would be made within three working days upon the lifting of freeze of its bank accounts and assets and three instalments of Rs.3,500 each would be paid June 30, Sep 30 and Dec 31. The balance of Rs.7,000 crore would be deposited March 31, 2015.

The two Sahara Group companies – Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited – had collected Rs.24,780 crore from 3.3 crore investors which the apex court by its Aug 31, 2012, order had directed them to return to investors by routing it through the SEBI.

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