Sahara demands more time

Mumbai, Nov. 19: The Sahara group today moved the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in protest against market regulator Sebi's refusal to extend the deadline for the submission of documents relating to the bond flotations by two unlisted group firms.

After hearing the counsels for Sebi and Sahara, the tribunal directed Sebi to file an affidavit in reply in the matter. Further, it asked Sebi to put on affidavit as to why the regulator refused to accept the documents which were being delivered by Sahara in respect of the investors. Sebi will file an affidavit within 2 weeks.

On August 31, the Supreme Court had struck down the flotations and ordered the Sahara group to refund Rs 17,400 crore along with an annual interest of 15 per cent to 2.96 crore small investors.

Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.S. Kehar of the Supreme Court had slammed the two Sahara companies for breaking rules while seeking to raise money from gullible investors, adding that economic offences must be treated with an "iron hand".

The court has ordered Sebi to oversee the refund process.

Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corporation Ltd today approached the tribunal. The SAT is a quasi-judicial body that hears pleas filed by entities aggrieved by Sebi's orders.

The firms have moved the tribunal asking it to direct Sebi to give them time till January 31 to submit necessary documents related to the case.