Market regulator Sebi has complained to the Supreme Court that the Sahara Group has overvalued its properties and also failed to hand over original title deeds of its assets worth Rs 20,000 crore in accordance with the court order.
Putting an end to Sahara’s “hide and seek,” the court had last month ordered Sahara to hand over title deeds of its properties worth Rs 20,000 crore to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) within three weeks. The quantum of money indicated the outstanding that Sahara requires to shell out towards refund of money, “illegally” raised through debentures, to around three crore investors.
Sebi, however, told a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar that the group had deliberately not complied with the court order and the value of assets, whose documents were given to it, was way less than Rs 20,000 crore. It claimed that instead of the current value of assets, the proposed value of assets was indicated by the group while furnishing the list of assets. The court expressed its displeasure on the issue but refrained from passing any order since Sahara’s arguing counsel could not make it to the hearing.
“Futuristic evaluation of properties by Sahara is unacceptable. It is a mockery of our order if it has been complied with in this way and Sebi’s claims are true,” said the bench and posted the case for hearing on Thursday.
It, however, made it clear to the Group that no excuses shall be entertained on Thursday when the matter would be taken up for hearing.
Sahara gave Sebi documents of two plots of land. One of the two properties is a 106-acre land in Versova, a western suburb, which according to it is worth around Rs 19,000 crore and the other is a 200-acre land in Vasai, which it estimates to be worth about Rs 1,000 crore. The valuation of the properties was challenged by Sebi. The regulator contended that a portion of the properties were in the “thick” of litigation.
On October 28, the bench had given Sahara three weeks to comply with its order and said that if the group did not hand over the deeds within three weeks, Subrata Roy and other directors cannot leave the country without its permission.
“You have driven everybody around the bent. There cannot be any escape now and the money has to be repaid,” said the