Apex Court orders firm to give property deeds to SEBI, bars Subrata Roy from leaving the country
New Delhi : Holding that it was playing ‘hide and seek’ and cannot be trusted any more, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Sahara group to hand over title deeds of its properties worth Rs 20,000 crore to SEBI and restrained its chief Subrata Roy from leaving the country without its permission.
Making it clear that there is no “escape” from depositing the investors’ money with the market regulator, the apex court also asked the group to give valuation reports of the properties to SEBI which will verify worth of assets.
“Till the above direction (to hand over title deeds to SEBI) is complied with to the satisfaction of SEBI, the alleged contemnors (Roy and other directors) shall not leave the country without the permission of this court,” the bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said.
Roy’s counsel had, earlier, pleaded that his reputation and business will be hit.
“You have driven everybody round. From day one restraint was ours,” the bench replied when Roy’s counsel C A Sundaram pleaded that his behaviour has never caused any suspicion.
“You indulge too much in hide and seek. We cannot trust you any more,” the bench said adding “There is no escape for you and the money has to come.”
The bench, however, assured the Sahara that its interests will be protected if investors money is paid.
“Rest assured that we will protect you if you give the money,” it said and posted the case for hearing on November 20 when it would consider passing further orders on what to be done to the property, whose title deeds will be handed over to SEBI.
At the outset, Sundaram submitted that it is not possible to pay Rs 20,000 in cash and the company would liquidate if it is directed to pay cash. “I am finished if I have to pay Rs 19,000 crore cash. My company would liquidate. I am over as company if I have to pay the case,” he said adding that banks are also not willing to grant loan as they do not consider it safe.
He gave details of properties including Ambey Valley and said that title deeds of various assets would run in thousands of pages as 30,000 title deeds are there.