Stock market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday ordered freezing of bank accounts and attachment of properties of two Sahara group firms and top executives, including its chairman Subrata Roy for failing to refund more than Rs. 24,000 crore to investors.
In two separate orders against Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) and Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL), SEBI said that the two companies had raised Rs. 6,380 crore and Rs. 19,400 crore respectively from bondholders and “various illegalities” were committed in raising of these funds.
“Today’s order for attachment of the assets is based on old facts and details of assets as of January 2012. Since then, facts have changed in view of redemptions made by Sahara from time to time…today’s order does not take into account the changed facts and circumstances,” Sahara said in a statement.
On August 31, the Supreme Court had ruled that finance schemes run by SIRECL and SHICL were illegal and ordered it to repay as much Rs. 24,000 crore to up to millions of investors
In December 2012 it was allowed to pay the money in three instalments, including an immediate payment of Rs. 5,120 crore, followed by an installment of Rs. 10,000 crore in the first week of January and the remainder by the first week of February 2013.
In its orders passed today, SEBI said that neither of the latter two instalments has been paid. The Supreme Court last week had allowed SEBI to freeze accounts and seize properties of Sahara group’s two companies for defying court orders
The properties being attached by SEBI include the land owned by Sahara group firm Aamby Valley near Pune and land in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurgaon.
SEBI has also ordered freezing of all bank and demat accounts as well as attachment of properties of Roy and three directors Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shanker Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary.