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Supreme Court issues contempt notice to Sahara companies

Supreme Court issues contempt notice to Sahara companies
New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today issued a contempt notice to two Sahara group companies for not implementing its order to pay around Rs. 17,000 crore with 15 per cent interest to their investors.

In another development, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India told the court today that it had begun proceedings to freeze the accounts of the two companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation.

The Supreme Court will now hear the case after four weeks.

The court had in August last year directed the companies to pay the amount and submit all original documents from investors to Sebi within 10 days.

After the Sahara companies failed to comply with the deadline, the court, on December 5, gave them time until February 2013 to pay the amount. The court had then asked Sahara to pay Rs. 5,120 crore upfront and the balance in two instalments -- Rs. 10,000 crore in the first week of January, and the rest in the first week of February.

The Sahara group told the court today that it has already paid Rs. 5,120 crore although it was to pay only Rs. 2,620 crore, thus make an extra payment of Rs. 2,500 crore.

In August, the court had ruled that finance schemes run by the two Sahara companies were illegal and ordered the group to repay the amount to almost three crore mostly small investors. Under the scheme, the two firms had offered bonds to small investors, promising, in some cases, to return three times the face value after 10 years.

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