SC declines to hear plea by Sahara group companies

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 12:30 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) In a set back to Sahara groups's two real estate companies, the Supreme Court Monday declined to entertain their application seeking extension of time to deposit investors' money to market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

"You have not complied with it (the court order) and have no business to come here again," the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said, recalling its earlier order.

The two Sahara group companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd. (SHICL) -- were directed by the court to return Rs.17,400 crore of investors' money with 15 percent interest.

The court by its Dec 5 order had directed SEBI to accept a deposit of Rs.5,000 crore by the companies. It had further directed the companies to pay Rs.10,000 crore in January 2013 and the balance amount in the first week of February.

The apex court had also directed the Sahara Group companies to submit to SEBI within 15 days all the documents related to collection of money from investors, including application forms.

Appearing for the companies, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani sought more time to comply with the order. The chief justice, however, told him that the petitioner companies had earlier made the same plea before another bench of the court which was declined.

Declining to entertain the Sahara real estate companies' application, the court said: "We passed the order to make it possible to pay the investors' money, but you failed to comply with it."

At the outset of the hearing, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and senior counsel M.N. Krishnamani told the court that it should not hear the application as another bench of the court was dealing with the matter.

Krishnamani said: "This (apex) court has got certain healthy traditions and conventions under which when an order is passed by a bench, another bench will not interfere with it."

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