Sa­hara Group lied about value of its as­sets, SEBI tells Supreme Court

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent [email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change Board of In­dia ( SEBI) on Wed­nes­day said the Sa­hara Group had over­val­ued its as­sets and not sub­mit­ted orig­i­nal ti­tle deeds of prop­er­ties worth Rs20,000 crore, prompt­ing an­gry re­marks from the Supreme Court for mak­ing a “mock­ery” of its or­der.

Sa­hara had sub­mit­ted copies of ti­tle deeds of two plots of land in the suburbs of Mum­bai — a 106-acre land par­cel in Versova, and a 200- acre plot of land in Va­sai. The plot in Versova, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, was worth around Rs19,000 crore, while the other plot in Va­sai was worth about Rs1,000 crore.

SEBI, the cap­i­tal mar­kets watch­dog, has chal­lenged the es­ti­mates ar­gu­ing these were worth much less.

Sa­hara cat­a­pulted into the lime­light in the 1990s with a se­ries of fi­nance schemes for small in­vestors, but hit the head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons in Au­gust last year when the Supreme Court said that schemes run by Sa­hara Hous­ing In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd and Sa­hara In­dia Real Es­tate Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd were il­le­gal.

SC had or­dered the group to re­pay as much Rs24,000 crore to mil­lions of in­vestors — an eye­wa­ter­ing fig­ure al­most equal to In­dia’s ele­men­tary universal ed­u­ca­tion bud­get. In Oc­to­ber, SC gave the com­pany three weeks to hand over ti­tle deeds of its prop­er­ties worth Rs20,000 crore to SEBI fail­ing which the court could re­strain Sa­hara man­ag­ing worker and chair­man Subrata Roy from leav­ing the coun­try.

CON­TIN­UED ON P6

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