Sahara chief Subrata Roy appears before Sebi
Sahara group chief Subrata Roy and three other top executives today appeared before market regulator Sebi, which had summoned them in the high-profile case involving refund of an estimated Rs 24,000 crore to over three crore investors.
Roy, along with Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava, were asked to come for personal appearance before Sebi's whole-time member Prashant Saran at the market regulator's headquarters here.
The summons for the four persons, as directors of two Sahara firms, were issued by Sebi on March 26, to examine them for ascertaining details of their personal assets, as also the investments and assets of the companies, to move ahead with sale of immovable assets for realisation of money to be refunded to the investors.
During their personal appearance, they have been asked to produce original title deeds of all assets and investments of the two firms, Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL).
The two Sahara firms, SIRECL and SHCIL, have been asked by the Supreme Court to refund over Rs 24,000 crore to their bondholders within three months.
In this apex court order dated August 31, 2012, Sebi was asked to facilitate the refund after verifying genuineness of investors.
Later on December 5, 2012, the court gave additional time to Sahara group and asked it to make an immediate payment of Rs 5,120 crore, followed by Rs 10,000 crore by the first week of January and the remainder by the first week of February.
Sebi has ordered freezing of accounts and attachment of assets, as the group failed to make the payments as per the orders.
Sahara claims that it has already repaid most of the investors directly and its total outstanding refund liability was less than Rs 5,120 crore, which it has given to Sebi.
Sebi had passed the attachment orders within days of the Supreme Court saying that the market regulator was free to freeze accounts and attach properties if Sahara group firms were not depositing the money with it for refund to investors.
As per Sebi, the SIRECL and SHCIL had raised Rs 6,380 crore and Rs 19,400 crore respectively from bondholders and "various illegalities" were committed in raising these funds.
The two Sahara firms and their four top executives were also asked to provide details of their assets and investments to the market regulator by April 8.
It is not clear whether these details have been furnished before Sebi as yet.
Sebi had said it would ex-parte settle the terms of proclamation of sale of their and the companies' assets, had the four persons failed to appear before it today.
Incidentally, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) is scheduled to hear later this week, on April 13, the appeals filed by Subrata Roy and others against a previous Sebi order for attachment of their bank accounts, assets and investments.
These properties include those related to the group's Aambey Valley resort town near Pune, other real estate assets in Delhi, Mumbai and at other places across the country, shares, mutual funds and various other investments.
Besides, they have been asked to furnish details of their bank accounts (in India and abroad), and the complete books of accounts along with income tax returns and wealth tax returns filed by the two companies from fiscal 2007-08 onwards.
Later this month, the Supreme Court would also hear a plea by Sebi seeking orders for Roy's arrest and barring him from leaving the country.