The Supreme Court has deferred until Wednesday a hearing over the Sahara conglomerate’s failure to meet the court’s guidelines to repay billions of dollars it had raised from investors through bond sales that were later ruled to be illegal.
The group has been under legal obligation to return Rs24,000 crore to the investors since August last but in the lengthy advertisements published in several newspapers on Saturday last, the company claimed it had “cleared” about Rs33,000 crore to investors in the so-called optionally fully-convertible debentures and had maximum outstanding liability of Rs5,120 crore, which it was ready to deposit with the authorities.
On the other hand, the market regulator Securities and Exchange of India has sought contempt action against the two severely indicted companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation. These companies have challenged an order passed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal.
The apex court on Monday warned the companies that it could send the proprietor/s to the jail for defying its directions as judges also indicted it for “shaky stand” on the repayment of the money to the needy investors.
The unlisted Sahara’s interests range from real estate to insurance and sport and it is the lead sponsor of the national cricket team.
It recently bought New York’s Plaza Hotel and had earlier bought the Grosvenor House hotel in London.