PM likely to call all-party meet on FDI issue on Tuesday

Moves were afoot to call an all- party meeting tomorrow in a bid to break the deadlock over the issue which saw Congress ally Trinamool Congress joining the united opposition in demanding cancellation of the Cabinet decision on allowing FDI in retail

New Delhi: With the political opposition over foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail gathering momentum, prime minister Manmohan Singh today held consultations with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and is likely to call an all-party meeting tomorrow to resolve the deadlock in Parliament, reports PTI.

Mr Singh held consultations with Ms Gandhi soon after the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourned for the second day on the FDI issue.

Ms Gandhi’s meeting with the prime minister assumes significance as she is also the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and key alliance partners Trinamool Congress and DMK have demanded rollback of the Union Cabinet decision allowing FDI in retail.

It also wants consultations within the UPA before taking major policy decisions.

DMK has termed the decision as ‘dangerous’ and demanded that the decision be withdrawn forthwith.

Party chief M Karunanidhi said, “The Centre’s insistence that states should go by the decision cannot be justified. DMK had opposed FDI in retail trade even when the idea was originally mooted.”

Government sources said moves were afoot to call an all- party meeting tomorrow in a bid to break the deadlock over the issue which saw Congress ally Trinamool Congress joining the united opposition in demanding cancellation of the Cabinet decision on allowing FDI in retail.

The BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) has already declared that it would not allow Parliament to function till government withdraws the decision on FDI in retail.

The BJP and the Left parties were among several who had given adjournment motion notices in Lok Sabha today.

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Supreme Court stays SAT order on Sahara OFCDs

The apex court also directed both Sahara India Real Estate and Sahara Housing Investment to file a detailed affidavit explaining how they will protect the interests of about 2.3 crore investors who had invested about Rs17,400 crore

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed an order issued by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) directing two companies from the Sahara group to refund about Rs17,400 crore to their investors.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia directed both the companies to file a detailed affidavit explaining how they will protect the interests of about 2.3 crore investors who had invested their money in these companies. The bench said the affidavit would also show how the firms are to secure liabilities that they have undertaken and protect the investors.

The apex court also asked both Sahara India Real Estate Corp (now known as Sahara Commodity Services Corp Ltd) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp to file their balance sheet for FY11 and statement of accounts for November 2011 by 8th January.

"Net worth of the companies particularly assets against which liability has been created, financial statements including balance sheets of 2010-11 and statements of accounts of the companies of November 2011 shall be mentioned in the affidavit," the bench said.

Earlier in June, market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had asked both Sahara India Real Estate and Sahara Housing Investment to return money collected from about 2.3 crore investors through Optionally fully Convertible Debentures (OFCDs).

The two Sahara group companies and its promoters Subrata Roy Sahara and directors - Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary, then approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). However, on 18th October, the SAT asked both the companies to refund Rs24,029 crore, including interest to around 2.96 crore investors who had subscribed to the OFCDs, within six weeks.

The group then challenged orders issues by both SEBI and SAT in the Supreme Court. While asking the two Sahara group companies to file an affidavit, the apex court also issued notices to the Union government and SEBI seeking their responses to the plea.

The Supreme Court also extended the deadline set by SAT in its order to 8th January, the next day of hearing in the case. 

Sahara Real Estate floated an issue of OFCDs and started collecting subscriptions from investors from 25 April 2008 up to 13 April 2011. During this period, the company claimed to have collected over Rs19,400 crore, while up to 31 August 2011, the company had a total collection of over Rs17,656 crore. The amount was collected from over two crore investors. But the surprise was that Sahara claimed that it was not a 'public' issue as the OFCDs were offered to only its workers and persons associated with the Sahara group.

When this information came to the notice of the capital market regulator, it started its investigation and passed an ex-parte order on 24 November 2010 restraining the company from mobilising funds under a red herring prospectus (RHP). The order was treated as a show-cause notice and proceedings were initiated against both the Sahara companies.

Feeling aggrieved, the company filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court, which stayed SEBI's order. The market watchdog then challenged the High Court order before the Supreme Court. In the meantime, SEBI passed an order dated 23 June 2011 that was placed before the Supreme Court, which asked both the Sahara companies to withdraw their writ petitions from the Bombay High Court with a direction to appeal before the SAT.

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COMMENTS

Vikas Gupta

5 years ago

All Group Co.s of Sahara India are totally manuplated. Their Balance sheets & Working are not transparent at all. The staff hired by them is also not Depositor friendly. They don't give any heed to the problems of their depositors. I have personally got an Experience with the Branch Manager of Sahara India, Rohtak Mr. Pandey who runs after Commission of his own workers for his own benefit.

Delhi HC suspends Sukh Ram’s sentence; grants him bail

The court released him on bail considering that he is an 86-year-old heart patient and keeping in view the medical report submitted by the Tihar jail authorities, which said he suffered from heart diseases and cervical spondylitis

New Delhi: In a relief to former telecom minister Sukh Ram, the Delhi High Court today suspended the five-year sentence awarded to him in a graft case and granted him bail, reports PTI.

A bench of justice Suresh Kait suspended the sentence keeping in view his old age and various ailments.

“I suspend the sentence till disposal of case,” the court said.

The court released him on bail considering that he is an 86-year-old heart patient and keeping in view the medical report submitted by the Tihar jail authorities, which said he suffered from heart diseases and cervical spondylitis.

It directed Sukh Ram to furnish two sureties of Rs10 lakh and asked him not to leave the country without the prior permission of the court.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had opposed his bail saying he has been convicted twice earlier and is a habitual offender.

Sukh Ram, who had held the telecom portfolio in PV Narasimha Rao’s cabinet, was convicted on 17th November in a cable contract case. He was handed out five years’ jail term by special CBI judge RP Pandey on 19th November and sent to jail.

He was convicted for misusing his official position during his tenure as telecom minister in award of a contract worth Rs30 crore to Haryana Telecom (HTL), a private firm, to supply 3.5 lakh conductor kilometres (LCKM) of PIJF cables to the telecom department after taking Rs3 lakh as bribe.

Sukh Ram had earlier been convicted in two separate corruption cases in 2002 and 2009 but remained out of jail after suspension of his sentence.

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