"When Sahara told the court it had made a refund of Rs.17,000 crore in cash, the bench asked the group: What business you (Sahara) have? How did you generate Rs.20,000 crore overnight? You must have deposited the money in a bank or the money was stacked somewhere... Was it somewhere in a locker or in gunny bags stacked in some corner?"
New Delhi, May 19 - The Supreme Court Monday asked Sahara Group companies SIRECL and SHICL to deposit Rs.10,000 crore of investors' money to secure the release of Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two other directors in judicial custody since March 4.

You come with a specific proposal and not cast your net so wide, stalemate will not help anybody, including investors. Come with a specific, logical and acceptable proposal, the bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice A.K. Sikri told the Sahara Group at the conclusion of a two-hour hearing.

Asking the Sahara Group to come with an acceptable proposal to pay Rs.10,000 crore - a condition for Roy and two directors' release from judicial custody - the bench said the proposal that would be made will be given to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its response.

Counsel Rajiv Dhawan, appearing for the two directors, urged the court to place Roy under house arrest in Lucknow so that he could negotiate the sale of some of its properties to raise money to comply with the court's March 26 order.

The court Monday took up for hearing Sahara's plea to lift the freeze on its accounts and some of immovable assets so that Roy could raise money to comply with the court's order of paying Rs.10,000 crore as a part payment of investors' Rs.24,000 crore that its two companies Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL) raised from the 3.3 crore investors through Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures.

The court Monday said the money generated after it lifts the freeze order would go to the SEBI.

The court was told that there was Rs.2,600 crore lying in the bank accounts of Sahara and it would pay within four to five days of Roy's release Rs.3,000 crore to the court registry.

The bench also said it would permit the company to sell the assets to genetrate the balance amount to pay Rs.5,000 crore in cash.

By the March 26 order, Sahara was asked to deposit Rs.10,000 crore - of which Rs.5,000 crore should be in cash and the remaining in the form of bank guarantees.

When Sahara told the court it had made a refund of Rs.17,000 crore in cash, the bench asked the group: What business you (Sahara) have? How did you generate Rs.20,000 crore overnight? You must have deposited the money in a bank or the money was stacked somewhere... Was it somewhere in a locker or in gunny bags stacked in some corner?

The matter is likely to come up for hearing next week.


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