SC bars Sahara chief Subrata Roy from leaving India

Subrata RoyThe Supreme Court has restrained Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy and other top officials facing contempt proceedings from leaving the country.

The apex court also barred the group from selling any of its properties, including its housing projects, for not complying with its 28 October order directing the Saharas to deposit original title deeds of its assets worth Rs20,000 crore with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

''Our order of handing over title deeds of Rs20,000 crore to SEBI has not been followed by Sahara in letter and spirit'', the Supreme Court said after SEBI on Wednesday submitted that Sahara had overvalued its properties and that it did not hand over all original title deeds of assets worth Rs20,000 crore as per its direction.

"It is a mockery of our order if it has been complied with in this way," the court had said on Wednesday and posted the case for hearing today after Sahara sought adjournment on the ground of non-availability of its counsel.

The Supreme Court, while diluting its 28 October order banning overseas travel by Roy and his two directors against whom SEBI had moved contempt petition, however, had said that Sahara executives will not leave the country till they produce the original title deeds before SEBI and the market regulator is satisfied with the papers.

The case pertains to the raising of around Rs24,000 crore by two Sahara Group firms - Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHIC) - through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) in violation of SEBI public issue norms.

The Supreme Court had, on 1 November, allowed Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two other directors to travel abroad, but on condition that Roy comes back to India in case the property title deeds worth Rs20,000 crore were not submitted to SEBI in three weeks' time.