New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed proceedings on pleas filed by Sahara group and its chief Subrata Roy against refunding Rs 24,000 crore to investors and attachment of their properties after the SEBI accused them of approaching different forums for delaying the process. A bench comprising by Justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar also issued notice to them on SEBI's plea seeking transfer of all cases filed by them in Securities Appellate Tribunal and Allahabad High Court to Supreme Court.
During the hearing, the market regulator accused the group and its promoter of making "mockery" of apex court's order which had directed them to deposit Rs 24,000 crore to SEBI which would refund the money to over three crore investors. Senior Advocate Arvind Dattar, appearing for SEBI, submitted that "shocking things" are in CD which was supplied by Sahara Group on investors who had put in their money in its two companies--Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC). He said although names of around 6,000 Kalawatis are not there as reported in media but there are 1,433 Anirudh Singhs there in the list whom the group claimed to have refunded money 34 times.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani and advocate Keshav Mohan, appearing for Sahara group, on the other hand, submitted that Sebi is wasting their time and also said that there is serious atmosphere of prejudice prevalent against it as SEBI is leaking information to media on investors. The bench, however, said that every case is discussed in media and "We do not get prejudiced by such reports".
"We are not prejudiced. We are not concerned about Kalawati. Lets proceed on legal issues," the bench said adding "Do not transgress the case". The bench was hearing a contempt plea filed by SEBI against the Group for not complying apex court's order passed on August 31, 2012 for depositing Rs 24,000 crore to SEBI. In the last hearing the bench accused Sahara group and Roy of "manipulating courts" by approaching different forums for relief.
Sahara group and SEBI are locked in legal dispute over the refunding of 24,000 crore by its two companies--SIREC and SHIC--to over three crore investors. Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed its plea for more time to refund the amount. SIREC and SHIC along Roy are facing contempt proceedings in the apex court which had on February 6 allowed SEBI to freeze accounts and seize properties of its two companies for defying court orders by not refunding the money to investors.