The Supreme Court will take up again tomorrow the issue of Sahara Group's liability to refund Rs 24,000 crore collected through bonds from lakhs of investors. The court had declared the scheme of optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) illegal in its judgment in August. It had asked the two group companies to return the money to the investors with 15 per cent interest.
The bench, presided over by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, was firm on Monday that the money should be repaid in a short time. It gave one day to bring a schedule of payment. When the case was taken up on Tuesday, the companies wanted some more time to bring forth a plan to satisfy the court. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) wanted time to examine it. Moreover, an investors' organisation also wanted to present their demands on the issue. Since all these could not be squeezed into on Tuesday's schedule, the three-judge bench posted the case for tomorrow morning.
Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation have challenged the Securities Appellate Tribunal order rejecting their plea to direct its registrar to accept a pay order of Rs 5,120 crore toward the payment. The deadline for repayment to the investors expired on November 30. According to Sebi, the amount offered was far short of the dues and even that has not been deposited. According to it, Sahara has used the money collected to invest in various projects across 63 cities. It has also said that the firms were forcing investors to shift their money to other schemes run by the companies.