SC accepts SEBI plea on Sahara cases; stays proceedings in SAT, Allahabad HC

The Supreme Court has accepted a petition filed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to club all petitions filed by the Sahara group in various courts and, accordingly, stayed proceedings in all petitions filed by Sahara group and its chief Subrata Roy against refunding Rs24,000 crore to investors and attachment of their properties.

The SC ruling comes on a SEBI petition accusing the Sahara group and its chairman Subrata Roy of approaching different forums for delaying the process. The SC also had pulled up the Sahara chief for ''manipulating courts'' through misleading petitions.

A bench comprising by Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar today stayed the proceedings in Securities Appellate Tribunal and Allahabad High Court in all pleas by Sahara and Subrata Roy against refunding investors' money.

The apex court also issued notice to them on SEBI's plea seeking transfer of all cases filed by them in SAT and the Allahabad High Court to itself.

SEBI in its petition has accused the Sahara group and its promoter of making "mockery" of apex court's order, which had directed them to deposit Rs24,000 crore to SEBI for refunding to over some 30 million investors.

Shara group claims that they have refunded money to most of the investors who had put in their money in its two companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC).

Senior advocate Arvind Dattar, appearing for SEBI submitted that there are "shocking things" in the CD supplied by the Sahara Group like 1,433 Anirudh Singhs in the list whom the group claimed to have refunded money 34 times.

He, however, refuted media reports of the names of around 6,000 Kalawatis appearing in the Sahara investor list.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani and advocate Keshav Mohan, appearing for Sahara group, accused SEBI of wasting their time and vitiating an already atmosphere of prejudice prevalent against the business group.

The bench, however, said that every case is discussed in media and "We do not get prejudiced by such reports".

"We are not prejudiced. We are not concerned about Kalawati. Lets proceed on legal issues," the bench said, adding, "Do not transgress the case".

The bench was hearing a contempt plea filed by SEBI against the Sahara group for failure to comply with the apex court's 31 August 2012 order directing it to deposit Rs24,000 crore with SEBI.

Sahara claims it has paid Rs20,000 crore to investors and has deposited Rs5,000 crore with SEBI, which the regulator failed to distribute.