SC delays decision on Sahara's debt refinancing plan

The Supreme Court today clarified that the cash-strapped Sahara Group can go ahead with a second mortgage of its overseas properties and also find another creditor to take over the loan of Bank of China, in order to raise money for obtaining the bank guarantee to bail out its jailed chief Subrata Roy, but delayed an order for want of clarifications.

After today's hearing, the Supreme Court said it has to make sure that the proposed new debt would not violate rules on how Indian companies can raise money abroad.

The court will hear the case next on 9 January, the judges said.

Sahara needs to raise Rs10,000 crore, including Rs5,000 in bank guarantees, to secure release of group chief Subrata Roy on bail.

Sahara also today handed over cheques amounting to Rs1,900 crore related to sale of domestic properties to SEBI in the court.

Meanwhile, the court, during the course of hearing, observed that the company has the full freedom to run all legitimate businesses and that the directions of the court are not to prohibit the regular businesses of the company.

It emphasised that the restraint order on parting away the assets of the company should not be taken as if the court has any intention to cripple the business of the company.

The apex court also agreed to hear the appeals that Sahara has filed against SEBI's "illegal orders" of rejecting all the redemption documents on the next date of hearing, Sahara's Counsel, Keshav Mohan said.

The court also directed SEBI to make refund to all multiple account investors in accordance with the mechanism prescribed in the order dated 31 August 2012 and reiterated in the order dated 5 December 2012 passed by a three-judge bench of Supreme Court.

Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, who is in Tihar Jail after his arrest for allegedly defrauding investors of over Rs20,000 crore, however, will remain in jail for new New Year as well.