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SC agrees to hear SEBI’s plea against Sahara Group on Feb 2


New Delhi : The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on February 2 the plea of market regulator SEBI seeking an interim order with regard to repayment of money by the beleaguered Sahara Group, whose chief Subrata Roy has been in jail since March 2014.

“We will hear it at 3.30 pm on February 2,” a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said when senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for SEBI, sought hearing on the plea by which appointment of a Receiver was sought for taking control of assets of two firms of the group on the ground of non-payment of investors’ money despite the court’s order.

“There has been no development on repayment front during last three months. We need some interim order,” Datar said.

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, said that Roy is “inside” and hence “taking his time in negotiating”.

Earlier, the court had sought a response from the group as to why a Receiver should not be appointed to dispose of their properties to arrange Rs 36,000 crore to pay its investors.

The Sahara Group, however, had said that an European corporate had offered to lend Euro 720 million (Rs 5,000 crore) to bail out the group’s jailed chief.

SEBI is seeking appointment of Receiver on the ground that Roy’s two firms were not in a position to comply with apex court’s August 31, 2012 order to refund the money to investors.

During the earlier hearing also, the bench had said it was evident that there was difficulty for the group in selling its properties to arrange Rs 36,000 crore for making the payment in the SEBI-Sahara account since Roy is in jail and the sale of properties can be done by appointing a Receiver.

For the interim bail of 67-year-old Roy, the court had put conditions like depositing Rs 5,000 crore in cash and a bank guarantee of equal amount and tough terms including payment of the entire Rs 36,000 crore, which includes interest. The money will be paid back to investors of Sahara.

Roy is in jail since March 4, 2014 along with two other directors of Sahara companies — Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary.

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