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Sahara gets time to pay investors

New Delhi, Dec 4 () : The Supreme Court asked Sahara to pay Rs 5120 cr to market regulator SEBI immediately and the remaining amount Rs 12280 cr in two installments.

The court hearing the contempt of court plea by SEBI on Monday passed adverse remarks about the non-failure to repay Rs 17400 cr with 15% interest within the stipulated deadline set by the apex court.

In today’s hearing, Sahara counsel submitted the plan which SC accepted. The other installments have to be made to SEBI in January and February next year. If it does not pay then SEBI is free to seize the assets of the companies.

Sahara floated bonds under two companies to collect this money but without seeking any permission from SEBI. Any company which collects deposits from more than 50 investors, whether listed in stock exchange or not  has to go to SEBI and follow the rules.

The SC decision gives Sahara a breather and its owner Subrata Roy-led group more time to mop up the funds to refund money to its bond investors.

On Monday, a SC bench headed by Chief Justice questioned the behavior and doubted the motive. It stated that it all looked shaky. It was not amused that Sahara had failed to meet the November 30, 2012, deadline.

Gopal Subramaniam sought time for Sahara till afternoon yesterday to prepare a statement but the bench was not meeting post noon. The hearing was postponed to Wednesday.

Sahara claims that small time investors have been paid and only Rs 5000 cr is pending. Going by the verdict, SC was not convinced of this claim.

Most of the money says Sahara is locked in Amby Valley projects in 63 cities. Sahara has been stating that nothing unlawful has taken place and countered that SEBI was playing hide and seek by not taking the the money and documents about its investors.

Sahara asked SAT to order SEBI to accept 5,000 crore but this move failed and hence it went to the SC.