Incensed over the Sahara Group’s “attitude” and “persistent defiance,” the Supreme Court on Thursday summoned its chief Subrata Roy to the court over the Group’s failure to refund money to investors despite repeated orders.
“All contemners (Roy and three other directors) have to be here. They must remain present on the next date of hearing on February 26. They will go to a different place from here,” said a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar.
Rejecting the plea by the lawyers for Roy and the Sahara Group to excuse them from personal appearance for one final chance, the bench said: “The time has come … they must know what is happening in the court. We have been virtually begging you but you have changed your stand at every step. They have to remain present now.”
The court added it had given “enough room” to Sahara to refund the money to investors through the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) but the Group had failed to do so. “Things must move now. There is no point of having a status quo anymore,” it said.
Besides Roy, those summoned are Ravi Shankar Dubey, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Vandana Bhargava, directors of its firms—Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd.
During the hearing, the bench also said that Sebi should start selling the properties, deeds of which had been submitted to the regulator in pursuant to the court orders.
“You progress in a phased manner to recover money. Whatever properties you have with you now, you sell them. Sell all the properties which are unencumbered and initiate criminal prosecution against them if properties are encumbered since they claimed everything is unencumbered. We are hearing this matter for two years now but we want to take it to a logical conclusion now,” said the bench.