Supreme Court rejects another Sahara bid for Subrata Roy's release

07 March 2014

The Supreme Court has rejected Sahara Group's proposal to pay the entire amount it owes investors of its OFCDs to SEBI in cash instalments of Rs2,500 crore each at regular intervals of three months, saying it was not acceptable.

The court told Sahara to come up with another plan at the next hearing on 11 March, before seeking the release of its jailed chairman Subrata Roy, one of the lawyers representing Sahara in the case, said.

"You should bring a proposal which is acceptable and honourable. This is a dishonourable proposal," the apex court said.

Subrata Roy, 65, chairman of the unlisted Sahara Group, was arrested last Friday for failing to appear at a hearing in the long-running case with securities regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

SEBI had brought contempt proceedings against Roy and Sahara for failure to comply with a 2012 Supreme Court order to repay over Rs22,500 to investors of its two group firms, Sahara raised the money skipping the SEBI process and refused to comply with regulatory norms.

Sahara claimed to have repaid most investors and that its remaining liability was less than Rs5,120 crore it deposited with SEBI, a claim that has been disputed by the regulator and the court.

Roy was sent to jail on Tuesday. On Friday, lawyers for Sahara told the court the company was ready to pay Rs2,500 crore billion initially, and then an additional Rs14,900 crore in five instalments through July 2015, to secure Roy's release.

The final figure owed by Sahara is unclear because of interest accrued, as well as a dispute between the group and the regulator over the veracity of investors.

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