Sahara case: SC puts curbs on pleas in tribunal, high court

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday suspended proceedings before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) and the Allahabad High Court till it gives ruling on the market regulator’s plea for contempt proceedings against two Sahara group companies.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought contempt of court proceedings against real estate companies of the Sahara Group and its directors, including Subrata Roy, for their failure to refund Rs.24,000 crore mopped up through debentures.

The apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar stayed all the proceedings after the SEBI pressed that all the proceedings pending before the SAT and the Allahabad High Court be transferred to it.

The apex court Aug 31, 2012, directed the two Sahara real estate companies – Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd. (SHICL) – to return Rs.24,400 crore of investors’ money with 15 percent interest.

The Sahara companies and one of their directors moved the SAT and the high court against the SEBI’s orders.

While staying the proceedings in the tribunal and the high court, the apex court issued notice on the market regulator’s plea seeking transfer of cases pending before the SAT and the high court to it.

Referring to the shifting stands of the Sahara real estate companies, senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for the SEBI, said “the burden is on them to pay the investors money and comply with the (apex court) order”.

The SEBI has also sought the apex court’s nod for placing Roy and the two directors – Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary – under civil detention. However, for now, the court would address the contempt plea by the market regulator.

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