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HC seeks Sebi’s reply on non-payment of ₹24,000cr to Sahara group investors

Patna: The Patna high court on Tuesday asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to furnish an explanation as to why the huge funds of Rs 24,000 crore deposited by Sahara group of companies are lying idle and not disbursed for making repayments to the investors.

A single bench of justice Sandeep Kumar, while hearing an anticipatory bail plea of one Prem Kumar Saini and others, directed the Sebi to file an explanation on or before March 22. It also ordered personal appearance of a “responsible” Sebi officer on the next date for hearing in the matter on March 28.

Senior lawyer Umesh Prasad Singh, while appearing for Sahara, informed the court that in light of the orders of the Supreme Court, Rs 23,191 crore of Sahara group was deposited with SEBI. “With interest charges on such deposits, the amount exceeds Rs 24,000 crore. Yet, the major chunk of money has not been paid top the Sahara investors by Sebi, which is merely a trustee of the Sahara funds. There is neither legal impediment nor any order of the Supreme Court that restrains Sebi from utilising funds for making repayments to the Sahara investors,” Singh told the court.
Sebi counsel Pradeep Kumar said repayments of about Rs 128 crore have already been made to Sahara investors. He informed the court that his client has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking direction for utilisation of the funds.

The court categorically asked Sebi to either show any order of the Supreme Court restraining the use of such funds or ensure the repayment of the same to the Sahara investors.
In its previous orders, the HC had observed that those investors whose deposits have matured but they have not been repaid by Sahara group may file their applications along with their claim papers. By Tuesday, at least 208 applications had been filed for repayment.

Source: Timesofindia

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