New Bench to Hear Sa­hara Case

The Economic Times - - Front Page - OUR BUREAU

Anew bench will now hear the case of two Sa­hara Group com­pa­nies that have been asked to pay about .` 24,000 crore to Sebi to be re­turned to in­vestors in their schemes. The bench will be headed by Jus­tice TS Thakur, who is in line to be­come the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia, and an­other judge whose name will be no­ti­fied shortly, Supreme Court of­fi­cials privy to the mat­ter said. A two-judge bench, com­pris­ing Jus­tices KS Rad­hakr­ish­nan and Jus­tice JS Khe­har, had on Au­gust 31, 2012, di­rected the com­pa­nies to pay the amount to Sebi. On March 4 this year, the bench sent Sa­hara chief Subrata Roy to jail for fail­ing to ap­pear per­son­ally to ex­plain the Group’s fail­ure to pay the sum. Sa­hara Group has so far paid only .` 5,206 crore to Sebi. Jus­tice Rad­hakr­ish­nan is due to re­tire on May 16 while Jus­tice Khe­har, who is also in line to be­come Chief Jus­tice in the fu­ture, re­cused him­self from the case days af­ter the bench held that there was noth­ing il­le­gal re­gard­ing its or­der de­tain­ing Roy. Al­though Jus­tice Khe­har as­signed no rea­sons for his de­ci­sion, people fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said the bench had heard ar­gu­ments for over two-and-ahalf years from Sa­hara de­fend­ing its con­duct, and pos­si­bly fa­tigue had set in over the pro­tracted lit­i­ga­tion. Roy’s lawyers had con­tested that the or­der to de­tain their client was il­le­gal and vi­o­lated his fun­da­men­tal rights.

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