Sebi to SC: Pu­n­ish Subrata Roy with his Sa­hara cos for con­tempt of court

The Political and Business Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

SEBI to­day made a force­ful plea to the Supreme Court to pu­n­ish Sa­hara chief Subrata Roy along with his two firms and their di­rec­tors for not com­ply­ing with its or­der for re­fund­ing Rs 24,000 crore to in­vestors.

Re­fut­ing the con­tention of Roy who had sub­mit­ted that he can­not be pe­nalised for non-re­fund of the money by Sa­hara In­dia Real Es­tate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sa­hara In­dia Hous­ing In­vest­ment Corp Ltd (SHIC), the mar­ket reg­u­la­tor said that the busi­ness ty­coon held 70 per cent stake in the com­pa­nies and li­able for con­tempt of court pun­ish­able up to to six months im­pris­on­ment or fine.

"By virtue of be­ing pro­moter of the com­pa­nies, he holds the same po­si­tion as that of Di­rec­tors of the com­pa­nies and he is also li­able for con­tempt. He is li­able for pun­ish­ment along with other Di­rec­tors of the com­pa­nies," se­nior ad­vo­cate Arvind Dat­tar told a Bench of jus­tices KS Rad­hakr­ish­nan and JS Khe­har.

Dat­tar sought max­i­mum pun­ish­ment for Roy and oth­ers un­der Sec­tion 12 of Con­tempt of Court Act which pro­vides max­i­mum pun­ish­ment of six months jail term. "Keep­ing in mind the mag­ni­tude of fund col­lected by the com­pa­nies, it is fit case for im­pos­ing max­i­mum pun­ish­ment on Roy and com­pa­nies," he said.

"There can not be a clearer case of con­tempt. Non-pay­ment of funds amounts to con­tempt," he said, adding that the com­pa­nies have vi­o­lated not one but three or­ders of the apex court.

The mar­ket reg­u­la­tor con­tended that the com­pa­nies have not com­plied with apex court or­ders passed on Au­gust 31, De­cem­ber 5 last year on the is­sue of re­fund­ing the amount.

Dur­ing the ar­gu­ment, the bench asked whether the amount can be re­cov­ered from other com­pa­nies of the group.

Sebi con­tended that ac­tion can be taken against other com­pa­nies as the money col­lected were in­vested in other com­pa­nies of the group which is be­ing headed by the same pro­moter.

The court was hear­ing three con­tempt pe­ti­tions filed against Roy, the two firms and their di­rec­tors who will present their case on the next date of hear­ing on Au­gust 6.

The apex court had on Au­gust 31 last year di­rected the Sa­hara group to re­fund the amount by Novem­ber end.

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