Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court Tuesday restrained the Sahara group of companies from collecting money from investors and directed the enforcement directorate to investigate the allegations of illegal activities against it.
Hearing petitions, a division bench of acting Chief Justice R.B. Misra and Justice V.K. Sharma observed that "prima facie a case is made out against Sahara group chief Subrata Roy and his companies".
The court listed the matter for next hearing April 22.
"To subserve the interest of justice, by way of interim measure, the Sahara group is restrained to make transactions with any bank accounts without the prior permission of the Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)," said the bench.
It also directed the enforcement directorate to give response/status on money laundering by the Sahara group as alleged by the petitioners.
The Sahara group has also restrained from collecting further money, directly or indirectly, from the general public in any of schemes flouted by them, more specifically in the hill state.
The bench further said: "It has been brought to our notice that the Supreme Court directed two Sahara group companies, namely Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd to refund Rs.24,000 crore to the investors through SEBI."
Market regulator SEBI March 15 moved the apex court seeking the arrest and imprisonment of Roy and two other directors of the group for not complying with a Supreme Court order to refund Rs.24,000 crore to its investors.
The apex court said that it would hear the matter after its Holi break starting March 25.