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