The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued two orders on Wednesday evening to attach all the assets of two Sahara Group companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHICL) - consequent to the group’s failure to refund Rs 24,000 crore to investors as directed by the Supreme Court.
In effect, the market regulator SEBI orders -- issued by SEBI whole time director Prashant Saran -- will be freezing accounts of two aforementioned firms and their top executives, including group chief Subrata Roy. Other executives of Sahara group on whom orders were issued are Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava all from Lucknow.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court, in its order on August 31, had asked the Sebi to ascertain the genuineness of an estimated three crore bondholders of OFCDs (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures) of the two Sahara group companies - Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd and Sahara Real Estate Corporation Ltd - and thereafter facilitate refund of the money with interest.
Subsequently, the market regulator decided to carry out in-person verification of these bond holders. Later, the apex court passed another order, wherein Sahara group was allowed to refund the money in three instalments till first week of February.
In its orders, the SEBI made it clear that the documents furnished by Sahara Group in their defence were not found genuine and acceptable.