Sahara chairman Subrata Roy on Friday claimed in the Supreme Court that he had cleared most of the dues demanded by the market regulator to pay public depositors in his group companies, and requested that the court remove the security personnel assigned to him.
The top court had remanded Roy in a civil jail in 2014 over the group’s failure to pay up dues estimated to be Rs 25,781 crore to SEBI. The regulator was to pay the money to the subscribers of two schemes of the group declared illegal by the court in 2012. The top court, on January 31 last year, had directed Roy and two other directors, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary, to personally appear before it “to enable the court to pass appropriate orders so that the law can take its own course and reach the desired conclusion”. On January 24, 2020 the Court said that the efforts of the Sahara group to pay back did not “inspire the confidence of the court” as its order for deposit of Rs 25,700 crore has not been complied with so far. Earlier, the apex court had noted that the Sahara group has already deposited around Rs 20,000 crore in the SEBI-Sahara account, which includes Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 4,800 crore interest. In July 2018, the auctioning process of Sahara group’s prized Aamby Valley properties was put off by the Supreme Court after it was informed that the auction notice did not elicit any response from prospective buyers. In January 24, 2020 order’s court exempted Sahara group Chief Subrata Roy and two other directors from personal appearance till “further orders” in the case.
- Venugopal argued that the security was not for his personal security, but to keep an eye on him and ensure that he turned up in court when required.
- SEBI informed the court that he had so far paid only a part of the money due, including interest.
- Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Roy, urged the court to free the Sahara chief from his security entourage.
- Counter to the above argument, the CJI remarked that a huge security detail was the hallmark of a “VIP” these days, even as he stuck to the court’s earlier orders.
- SEBI has contended that the total principal with interest has now crossed Rs 70,000 crore, at 15% interest on the principal amount.
- Roy has so far only paid Rs 15,000 crore, it said. Subrata Roy, on his part, claimed that he had paid a major portion of the dues in cash to his depositors. He also demanded a recount of his liabilities.
- Advocate Datar has earlier said in court that the regulator would accept his claims on paying in cash if he could show documents on fund inflows.
- Sahara’s Roy had said in end that it would require a further detailed hearing and till then the group would not pay any more money.
A bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde refused to change its earlier order assigning security to him. The bench, however, waived personal appearance of Roy, who was present in court on Friday, in court during further hearings.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje