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SC rejects Sahara plea on refund order

business Updated: Jan 10, 2013 02:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Supreme Court has dismissed Sahara group's petition seeking review of its August 31, 2012 judgement directing the company to pay back Rs 24,000 crore raised from millions of small investors who had deposited money in optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs). OFCDs were floated by Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL).

A special bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice JE Khehar said: "We also do not find any inconsistency in the views expressed by both of us. On the other hand, all the contentions, legally and factually, raised by the appellants were examined, addressed and answered on all possible angles and dimensions."

Sahara's plea to consider its review petition on the basis of new facts and documents were turned down.

The bench held: "Even otherwise, all the records placed before us were meticulously examined and dealt with. Review petitions are, therefore, not entertained and, accordingly, stand dismissed. As a sequel to this, applications seeking permission for open court listing, intervention and /stay also stand dismissed."

Review petitions filed by an association claming to be representatives of investors too were dismissed on the ground they weren't parties in the appeal. "Applicants, in our view, have no locus standi to move these review petitions," the court said.

The August 2012 verdict had fixed a three-month time limit to pay back its investors. Details and documents pertaining to those who had deposited money in the schemes were to be handed over to SEBI within 10 days. However, since the company did not furnish the documents within the stipulated time, SEBI moved a contempt plea before SC. The same is yet to come up for hearing.

Meanwhile, Sahara's plea to extend the deadline to pay back its investors was granted by a three-judge bench headed by Chief justice Altamas Kabir. On December 5 last the bench had asked the company to make its first payment of Rs 10,000 crore to SEBI within the first week of January 2013, while the balance during the first week of February. An upfront payment of Rs 5,120 crore was made to the court on the same day.

Sahara has, however, failed to comply with the directions and has once again approached SC for another extension. The court is yet to hear its application.