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SC directs Sahara to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with Sebi

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-02-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Sahara India Group to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) by 17 April.

A bench of justices Dipak Misra, A.K. Sikri and Ranjan Gogoi asked Sahara to sell at least 15 properties free from all encumbrances to raise this money.

“In case a substantial amount is deposited, the court may think of extending the deadline,” the court said in its order after Sahara pleaded difficulty in disposing properties within a short time.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Sahara had presented a fresh roadmap in the previous hearing to repay the company’s investors, which the court rejected on Tuesday.

Sahara had asked the court’s permission to pay the balance in 22 months.

Sebi had moved the apex court in August 2012 to recover Rs36,000 crore from Sahara to refund investors who bought securities from two group firms. Sebi had asked the court to appoint a receiver who would dispose of Sahara’s domestic and offshore properties and raise the money.

In 2014, Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy was taken in custody after it failed to comply with the court’s directions. In an unprecedented move, the court had set Roy’s bail at Rs10,000 crore.

In May 2016, Roy and two of his associates were granted parole by the court which has been extended on request.

Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint’s editor and some reporters over the newspaper’s coverage of the company’s dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Mint is contesting the case.

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