The Supreme Court on January 6, agreed to hear on February 2 the plea of market regulator SEBI seeking appointment of a Receiver for taking control of assets of two firms of beleaguered Sahara Group to make payment of over Rs. 36,000 crores to its investors.
“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 the SEBI, sought an interim order with regard to repayment of money by the group and appointment of Receiver.
“There has been no development on repayment front during last three months. We need some interim order,” Datar said while mentioning the matter. The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, said Roy is “inside” and hence “taking his time in negotiating”.
Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy along with two other directors of Sahara companies—Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary, is in jail since March 4, 2014.
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. 5,000crore) 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 include interest. The money will be paid back to investors of Sahara.