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Expedite proceedings against Sahara directors: HC

The Bombay high court on Friday directed an additional chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) at Bandra to expedite criminal proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against two Sahara group companies and their directors.

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2013 01:42 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

The Bombay high court on Friday directed an additional chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) at Bandra to expedite criminal proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against two Sahara group companies and their directors for collecting Rs. 25,780 crore from about 2.75 crore investors in contravention of company laws and securities laws.

Acting on an application filed by the SEBI, justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari directed the additional CMM at Bandra to complete, by May 31, examination of SEBI’s witnesses against the directors of Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited and commit the matter for trial to a sessions court.

On November 20, 2012, SEBI lodged a complaint with the additional CMM court at Bandra against the directors of the two companies following a Supreme Court verdict of August 31, 2012 in which the apex court had observed that the companies had issued securities to the public more than the threshold limit fixed under the Companies Act and thus violated the listing provisions.

On December 24, 2012, on a first hearing on the complaint under sections 26(1) and 27 of the Companies Act 1956, the market regulator has moved an application under section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code for expeditious examination of its witnesses. The additional CMM took the plea on record on January 15, 2013, but it got adjourned on two occasions.