Accusing the two companies – linked to housing and real estate – of repeatedly breaching assurances on compliance of court orders, the markets regulator said the contemnors should be taken into custody if they failed to deposit the money. The SC had earlier sent Roy to jail, where he remained for three years before grant of bail, for committing contempt of court by not depositing the funds.
In its application in the pending matter, Sebi said, “Saharas have made no efforts whatsoever to comply with the orders and directions of the SC. This non-compliance by Saharas for the last about eight years is also causing great inconvenience to Sebi.” It was tasked by the SC for collecting the monies the two Sahara group companies had raised from crores of investors by floating optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs).
In August 2012, the SC had ordered Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation to deposit with Sebi the entire funds raised through OFCDs in 2008 and 2009, along with interest, within three months. Sebi was also tasked to refund the money to investors after due verification.
Giving detailed accounts, the application has said that around Rs 10,300 crore of the principal amount due from the group is yet to be deposited. After levying 15% interest, in line with the apex court’s order of August 2012, the amount added up to over Rs 62,600 crore.
The Sahara group contested Sebi’s claim. “It is an absolutely wrong demand by Sebi. The SC has in the past directed us to deposit the principal amount, which is around Rs 24,700 crore and already there are more than Rs 22,000 crore deposited. Sebi has mischievously added 15% interest from the beginning, so they are very wrongfully mentioning $8.48 (billion) (as dues),” a Sahara group spokesperson said.
Sebi said that against the 19,600-odd applications for refunds, 16,149 have been cleared and Rs 121 crore paid, with the others being processed. It also alleged that the special cell set up by it has been receiving complaints from investors of other group companies.