Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in a petition before the Supreme Court, has urged the apex court to direct Sahara chief Subrata Roy Sahara and two of his companies to pay Rs 62,602.9 crore due to its investors. The regulator said Sahara companies failed to pay the due amount along with 15 per cent annual interest despite the Sebi orders in 2012 and 2015.
The embattled businessman is engaged in a bitter legal battle with SEBI over the issue of repayment of billions of dollars after a bond scheme run by his companies was declared illegal.
Roy was put behind bars in 2014 for failing to attend a contempt of court hearing but got bail in 2016. The SEBI petition says Sahara's non-compliance has caused a "great inconvenience" and that his liabilities are increasing every day. "Saharas have made no efforts whatsoever to comply with the orders and directions," SEBI told the court. "On the other hand contemnors' liability is increasing daily and contemnors are enjoying their release from custody," said the petition assessed by Reuters.
The regular told the SC that Sahara only paid some portion of the principal amount and that interest on pending dues is ballooning every day. Meanwhile, Sahara said the companies had returned most of the owed money to investors. Sahara alleged the companies had even submitted the relevant documents with SEBI that was not verifying them.
SEBI had invited claimants through advertisements in about 150 newspapers but refunded just over Rs 100 crore to investors, the Sahara spokesman said in an email, adding that SEBI said last year it would not entertain any more claims. "How can there be claimants since Sahara has already paid back, long time back," the spokesman said. "It is a typical case of double payment."
With Reuters inputs