Subrata Roy Sahara case has been prolonged like elasticity but no conclusion has been drawn out of it. From last two years, Sahara Chief is in jail. Judges have ordered a security bond of Rs. 10,000 crore for his bail, but the company has shown its restraint in arranging the amount. Have you ever seen a businessman with Rs 1.87 lakh crore in properties but unable to pay Rs. 10,000 crores to bailout himself.
Recently, the Supreme Court instructed Sebi that it should not sell the properties for less than 90 per cent of the circle rate – the listed market value. If bids are below 90 per cent of the circle rate, the regulator will have to take the permission of the court. Now, the Supreme Court has asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to start the process of selling some of embattled conglomerate Sahara’s real estate assets in the country to refund millions of investors. Sahara, a household name in India as the former main sponsor of the national cricket team, has major hotels overseas including the Plaza in New York and the Grosvenor House in London, besides vast real estate assets in India. Its founder Subrata Roy was arrested in March 2014 after the company failed to comply with a court order to refund money raised from millions of small investors by selling them bonds later ruled to be illegal. The country’s top court in June last year said the group needed to repay the entire Rs. 36,000 crore the court says it owes investors in illegal bonds.
Sahara has submitted to officials a list of 86 properties which it claims are worth Rs. 40,000 crore. However, the firm claims that it has not been able to find buyers for the properties. The proceeds from the property sale will be used for securing bail of Sahara chief Subrata Roy. Roy joined Sahara Finance, a struggling company, in 1978 that ran a chit fund and took it over. He changed its financial model. Sahara is said to have used the financial model of much older Peerless Group. They are termed residuary non-banking companies (RNBCs) that accept deposits of very low amounts. In the 1990s, Roy moved to Lucknow, which became the base of his empire. His Sahara City project covering 170 acres was launched in the 1990s. From there, it went on to become the largest conglomerate of India with a diversified range of business interests. Now, the company has interests in real estate, media, entertainment, tourism, healthcare, and hospitality.
The Hindi newspaper Rashtriya Sahara was started in 1992. In the late 1990s, the ambitious Aamby Valley City project near Pune was initiated. In 2000, Sahara TV was launched which was later renamed as Sahara One. In 2003, Sahara started three weeklies: Sahara Time (English), Sahara Samay (Hindi) and Sahara Aalmi (Urdu). In 2010, Sahara purchased the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel in London and 2012 the historic Plaza Hotel in New York City. Sahara claims to have a workforce of more than a million, including salaried employees and field workers. In 2013, 121,653 of its employees gathered in Lucknow to sing India’s national anthem, setting a world record. Sahara is said to have 29.6 million investors, representing about 8.5% of all households in India.
Roy has propounded the corporate philosophy of ‘Collective Materialism’, that advocates collective growth through collective sharing and caring. He has written three books. “Life Mantras” was released on 02 February 2016 at 5,120 public events across India. The book is the first of the trilogy ‘Thoughts from Tihar’ written by Roy during his period behind the bars. The forthcoming books are ‘Think with Me – How to make our country ideal’, and ‘Reflections from Tihar – A book on Tihar Jail’ which are to be released soon. About after a month of its launch on February 02, 2016, ‘Life Mantras’ topped the non-fiction category of Nelsen Book Scan.
Since March 2014, he is under judicial custody with a bail amount of Rs. 10,000 crores. On 26 February 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered the arrest of Subrata Roy for failing to appear before it in connection with the Rs. 24,000 crore deposits his company has not refunded to investors. He was eventually arrested on 28 February 2014 by Uttar Pradesh police on Supreme Court’s warrant, in a dispute with Market Regulator – SEBI. Supreme Court of India granted him interim bail for the same on 26 March, 2014 on condition of depositing Rs 10,000 crore with the market regulator SEBI. He has not deposited the said amount and is still in jail.
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