New Delhi: In a
setback to Sahara Groups's two real estate companies, the Supreme
Court Monday declined to entertain their plea to be allowed more
time to deposit investors' money with market regulator Securities
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and file documents.
"You have not complied with it (the court order) and have no
business to come here again," a bench of Chief Justice Altamas
Kabir, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Vikramajit Sen said,
recalling its earlier order.
Declining to entertain the application, the court said, "On the
application filed for further time to file documents and extension
of time to deposit money, we don't wish to entertain the
The two Sahara Group companies - Sahara India Real Estate
Corporation Ltd. (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment
Corporation Ltd. (SHICL) - were directed by the apex court Aug 31
last year to return Rs.17,400 crore of investors' money with 15
The court by its Dec 5 order directed SEBI to accept a deposit of
Rs.5,120 crore. The court said that Sahara would deposit a sum of
Rs.10,000 crore in the first week of January and the balance
amount in the first week of February.
The court also directed the Sahara companies to submit to the SEBI
within 15 days all documents related to collection of money from
investors, including application forms.
If the company failed to pay the first installment, the SEBI could
seize their account and recover money in terms of Aug 31 order,
the court said.
Appearing for the companies, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani sought
more time to comply with the order. The chief justice, however,
told him that the petitioner companies had earlier made the same
plea before another bench of the court, which was declined.
Declining to entertain the Sahara real estate companies'
application, the court said: "We passed the order to make it
possible to pay the investors' money, but you failed to comply
"We gave you time once only to make it possible to get the money
and give it to investor. You went to another court and same was
declined," the court said.
At the outset of the hearing, Supreme Court Bar Association
president and senior counsel M.N. Krishnamani told the court that
it should not hear the application as another bench of the court
was dealing with the matter.
"I am neither with Sahara nor with SEBI. As a lawyer and as a
member of the court and as a Bar leader, I come before this
court," he said. "The tradition of this court has been that if an
order is to be modified, it has to go to that bench alone (that
had passed it)."
"I am pained and agonized to hear some rumours," Krishnamani told
"This (apex) court has got certain healthy traditions and
conventions under which when an order is passed by a bench,
another bench will not interfere with it."
As senior counsel said this, Chief Justice Kabir asked him if he
had read the petition. "Have you read the petition? Tell us a
"You don't need to caution us. We don't need to be cautioned," he
said as Krishnamani told the court that all he had said was by way
of cautioning the court.