SEBI summons Subrata Roy; HC bars Sahara from raising funds
Mumbai/Shimla: In a double blow to Sahara, SEBI Tuesday summoned group chief Subrata Roy on April 10 to finalise list of assets to be sold for Rs 24,000-crore refund to investors, while the Himachal Pradesh High Court restrained five Sahara entities from raising of money from the public.
Roy and three other top executives of the group have been asked to appear personally before the market regulator, after submitting details of their assets, bank accounts and tax returns by April 8, SEBI said in an eight-page order.
SEBI also made it clear that it would go ahead with finalising the terms of the proclamation of asset sale ex parte, if Subrata Roy, Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava fail to appear on April 10.
Meanwhile, the HP High Court in Shimla today restrained five entities -- namely Sahara India Parivar, Subrata Roy Sahara, Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, Sahara Q Shop Unique Product Range Ltd and Sahara Q Gold Mart Ltd -- from raising money from the public through any of their schemes.
Posting the matter for further hearing on April 22, the High Court in its interim order said that the complaint against these five entities can be further investigated by the banking regulator RBI and capital markets watchdog SEBI. It also referred the matter to the Enforcement Directorate.
The SEBI's action follows non-compliance by Sahara group to orders passed by the Supreme Court for refund of an estimated Rs 24,000-crore to about three crore bondholders of Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL).
Sahara has so far paid Rs 5,120 crore to SEBI towards the refund and claims that this amount itself is higher than the total outstanding dues of the two firms' bondholders.
Earlier this month, SEBI also approached the Supreme Court seeking arrest of Subrata Roy and bar on his leaving the country in connection with the ongoing case. The apex court has posted the matter for hearing in first week of April.
Besides the four individuals, SEBI also sought details of assets, bank accounts and other financial information of these two firms, so that it can proceed with the attachment orders involving sale of their assets to recover money for refund.
SEBI has been asked to facilitate the refund.
After the companies' failure to comply with the court order for refund of money by first week of February, SEBI on February 13 passed an attachment order against the two firms and their top executives, asking them also to provide details of their assets etc. Within 21 days.
Subrata Roy has challenged before the SAT the attachment orders of his personal assets and bank accounts. The tribunal today decided to hear the matter on April 13, along with the other petitions filed against attachment orders.
In Tuesday's order, SEBI said that the companies and the individuals have failed to furnish these details as directed earlier and therefore it was going ahead with the settlement of the terms for sale of their assets.
The four persons have been further directed to submit "a list of all their assets and details thereof (including properties, monies, bank accounts etc) enumerated in the attachment orders, situated in India or outside India, including any charge, encumbrance created over them."
SEBI also asked them to produce all original title deeds of their assets and details of bank accounts in India or abroad, along with their income tax returns and wealth tax returns for the financial year 2007-08 onwards.
At their personal hearing on April 10, the four would also need to ascertain details of assets and investments of SIRECL and SHICL.
The firms have also been asked to submit a list of all their holding firms, subsidiaries, associates, partnerships, special purpose vehicles, cooperative societies etc, forming Sahara group, along with details of their addresses, directors, partners, shareholdings, cross-holdings and partnership shares.
SEBI said copies of Tuesday's order are being sent to the RBI and the Enforcement Directorate.