In a setback for the Sahara group, facing allegations of fraud, the Bombay high court on Friday directed the additional chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) at Bandra to expedite criminal proceedings initiated by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against two of the group companies and directors.
The two companies, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited, are facing a probe for allegedly collecting Rs25,780 crore from 2.7 crore investors in contravention of laws.
Acting on an application filed by SEBI, justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari directed the Bandra CMM to complete the examination of SEBI’s witnesses against the directors and commit the matter for trial to a sessions court by May 31.
On November 20, 2012, SEBI lodged a complaint with the additional CMM court at Bandra against directors of the two companies, following a Supreme Court verdict of August 31 observing that the companies had issued securities to the public more than threshold limit fixed under the Companies Act, in violation of the listing provisions.
In the first hearing on the complaint on December 24, 2012, the market regulator had moved an application seeking expeditious examination of its witnesses.
On March 26, the magistrate court adjourned the matter for a month, on grounds that the stenographer was not available and the typist was busy, compelling the market regulator to approach the high court.