In fresh trouble for Sahara, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the company to explain how it encashed securities worth Rs 484 crore, deposited with the RBI, and diverted them to pay depositors without the court’s nod.
A special bench headed by justice TS Thakur also allowed RBI to initiate action against Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd (SIFCL), a non-banking financial firm, for allegedly “breaching” the central bank norms by encashing securities and diverting them to Sahara India, a partnership firm, to pay depositors.
The amount, the court observed, was to be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara refund account as per its direction.
“We never allowed you to encash the securities and to pay the amount to the depositors. Rather, you should have deposited them into the Sebi-Sahara account,” the bench added. It restrained the company from further alienating and transferring remaining “directed securities” of SIFCL. Sahara has to respond to RBI’s allegations.
Taking serious note of the diversion of funds, the bench observed: “… how could you sell the identified securities? How can you touch these securities?...You should have come to us seeking permission to pay to the depositors. We vacated the order to enable you to deposit the money in the SEBI-Sahara account. You should have come clean on that.”
The court did not give any relief to Roy for further using Tihar jail’s conference room and facilities for negotiating deals with prospective buyers of Sahara’s international properties. The company has to re-enter into talks after its deal with US-based Mirach Capital Ltd failed.
The court also asked Sahara to file an additional affidavit indicating as to how the disbursements of the money to the depositors have been made and what was the mode of payment — cheque or cash — and the company will also disclose the identity of the recipients.