Fresh from a reprieve given by the Supreme Court, Sahara group chief Subrata Roy has told the Supreme Court that it was ready with a roadmap to deposit the remaining amount of Rs 12,000 crore in the SEBI-Sahara account by December 2018 to be refunded to the investors.
“A road map has been shared with SEBI and amicus curiae Shekhar Naphade”, Kapil Sibal, the senior lawyer appearing for the group told a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur
Following this, the bench then continued with the interim bail and other arrangements granted to Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy till November 28.
Earlier, the top court had said it had been taken for a ride by the Sahara group through its past conduct and had directed it to submit a roadmap to pay the balance amount of Rs 12,000 crore to SEBI, while extending the parole of Roy and others till October 24 on payment of Rs 200 crore.
Meanwhile, the Sahara Group said in a Statement: In Friday’s hearing, Hon'ble Supreme Court has allowed SEBI, at the request of Sahara, to re-auction certain properties for which the buyer at much higher price is available while SEBI was selling them for a lower price. Therefore the Saharas stand has been vindicated that Sahara property were being sold by SEBI for a throw away prices.
Apart from that Hon'ble Supreme Court has also agreed to consider the roadmap, which will be finalized, by Amicus Curiae, Senior Counsel for SEBI and Mr. Kapil Sibal and then the mutually considered roadmap will be placed before the court for Hon’ble Supreme Court’s approval. In that sense there has been a good development in the case and we can hope for an early resolution of a disput
FURTHER 200 CR SUBMITTED
Sibal told the bench that they have deposited Rs 200 crore with SEBI in pursuance to an earlier apex court direction.
The bench said Sahara has to deposit another Rs 200 crore by November 28 so that the interim arrangement could continue. Sibal said the group was ready with Rs 15 crore and the remaining amount of Rs 185 crore would be deposited by the next date of hearing.
The court also allowed the group to re-auction certain properties in Ajmer, Firozabad, Vellore, Tiruchirappalli and Ujjain for which the bidding was at a much higher price. The bidding could not be taken to the logical conclusion at that time due to some legal impediments because of income tax issues. The group had yesterday told the apex court that it would deposit Rs 200 crore with SEBI in pursuance of the earlier direction and had sought advancement of hearing in the case.
On September 28, In a huge relief to Roy, the SC had extended his parole till October 24. This was on a condition that he would deposit Rs 200 crore more with SEBI by then.
The special bench also then asked Sahara to submit a road map or scheme for depositing the balance amount to secure Roy's release on bail.
ALMOST SENT TO JAIL
It is to be noted that on September 28, the bench had almost send Roy back to Tihar jail in the morning following heated verbal exchange with his senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan but later in the evening gave him one week to surrender and also agreed to hear his plea for parole extension.
The turning point in the day long drama was when senior lawyer Kapil Sibal who came rushing in for an urgent mentioning just before the bench rose for lunch and tendered an unconditional apology which saved the day for Roy as CJI Thakur told Sibal that “let me consult my brother judges”.
It all started when an altercation ensued between Dhavan and CJI Thakur when the lawyer said the group were not involved in the process of selling of properties by the SEBI.
“If you want to be heard, you go to jail. Don’t tell us what to do. All interim arrangements stand cancelled. Condemners are directed to be taken into custody,” the CJI shot back
Dhavan said “it was not a fair statement that they should be sent back to jail. We have deposited Rs. 352 crore already as per the last direction, which is Rs. 52 crore more. It is not a fair statement. You cannot pass such an order,” he kept repeating.
Counsel for SEBI said 58 properties were put on auction and they had sold eight of them, raising Rs. 137 crore. Five of the properties were provisionally attached. The the list of properties given by Sahara to them were those that were already attached, he said.
To this, the bench told him, “You gave a list of properties, which are already attached and you are not cooperating. It’s better if you go to jail.”
The bench asked the Sahara chief to deposit Rs. 300 crore to be allowed to remain on bail.
Dhavan then suggested that the matter be posted for hearing on September 30 when they would argue on it.
Soon after the bench passed the order directing that Roy and the others — Sahara directors Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey, be taken into custody, Sahara withdrew its counsel and apologised before the bench but the bench it did not mollify the bench which insisted on the harsh step.
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