The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Tuesday adjourned its hearing in the Securities and Board of India (SEBI) and Sahara case to 13th April.
In an order, the SAT said, hearing of the appeal filed by Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy would be taken up along with appeals filed by Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation, the two Sahara group companies and its three directors.
In all the appeals, Sahara has challenged the attachment order passed by SEBI on 13 February 2013. In a release, Srinivasan Ganesh, senior counsel for Sahara, said, “In these appeals, Sahara has challenged the attachment order passed by SEBI, inter-alia on the grounds that SEBI has no jurisdiction to pass such orders under the SEBI Act and that their documents of redemptions made to investors have been wrongly rejected as ‘not acceptable’ and that such orders of documents are in clear violation of the directions no7 contained in order dated 31 August 2012 passed by the Supreme Court.”
Officials from SEBI were not immediately available for comment.
The apex court had on 31st August last year directed the two companies to refund around Rs24,000 crore to their investors within three months with 15% interest per annum for raising the amount from its investors in violation of rules and regulations.
On 13th February, SEBI passed two separate orders, together running into 160 pages, directing attachment of properties and freezing of accounts.
It was after the Supreme Court said that the regulator was free to freeze the accounts and attach properties if Sahara firms were not complying with the apex court’s earlier orders of August 2012 towards refund of investors’ money totalling over Rs24,000 crore.
The assets ordered to be attached included those related to the group’s Aamby Valley resort town near Pune, real estate assets in Delhi, Mumbai and at other places across the country, shares, mutual funds and various other investments.
Passing the attachment orders, SEBI said that the two companies had raised Rs6,380 crore and Rs19,400 crore, respectively from bondholders and “various illegalities” were committed in raising of these funds.
With regard to Subrata Roy and three other directors, namely Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shanker Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary, SEBI ordered freezing of all bank and demat accounts of these four persons, as also attachment of all moveable and immoveable properties in their name with immediate effect.
During its previous hearing on 23rd March at Mumbai, the SAT decided to hold final hearing on 26th March at New Delhi. It, however, decided to take up the matter again on 13th April along with all related petitions.
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Advocate and former bureaucrat Abha Singh requested Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan to ignore the pardon request made by Justice Katju for the Bollywood star
Advocate and former bureaucrat Abha Singh has moved the Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan to ignore the pardon request made for Bollywood star and convict Sanjay Dutt by justice Markandey Katju, chairman of the Press Council of India (PCI).
In a letter she said, “Since any action on that letter would appear to the people as if it was being done after getting impressed by the statutory authority of justice Katju as chairman of PCI, even though this may be his personal opinion.”
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld conviction of Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. The apex court had said, the circumstances and nature of offence (of Dutt) was so serious that he cannot be released on probation. “... (the) evidence and materials perused by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court in arriving at the decision against Dutt was correct,” the Supreme Court said.
Earlier, justice Katju, in his letter had asked governor Sankaranarayanan to consider a pardon for Dutt citing number of reasons like the Bollywood star was not a terrorist and that his parents had done a lot of social work.
Actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, actor Rajinikanth and even West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee are demanding that Dutt be pardoned.
Here is the letter Abha Singh sent to the governor...
26 March, 2013
The Hon'ble Governor
SUB: Not to Assign Cognisance to the Request Made by Press Council of India Chairman to Pardon Sanjay Dutt.
It has been widely reported that the Chairman, Press Council of India, Shri Markandey Katju, has written to you to pardon Sanjay Dutt, who has been convicted by the Supreme Court for 5 years imprisonment for having taken AK-56 rifle and hand grenades through the now Pakistan-based terrorist, Anees Ibrahim, the brother of global terrorist and international drug trafficker, Dawood Ibrahim, and from the dreaded terrorists Abu Salem, Mohammad Dossa. A copy of this letter, as appearing in his blog, is annexed.
2. It is submitted that this letter has been written by Shri Katju, while being in the position of the Chairman, Press Council of India, which exudes an eloquent colour of his statutory authority. This authority stems from the powers accorded to him under the Press Council Act, 1978, and Rules made there under.
3. It is also seen that Chairman, Press Council of India is a very powerful post and he in that capacity has to adjudicate on complaints of many government officers and political entities with reference to critical articles against them. Therefore, it would be very difficult for any government to undermine his recommendations on any issue, even though it may be his private issue in contrast with his statutory view.
3. That being so, there is a perception among the people, that the government of Maharashtra is being swayed by the colour of statutory authority of the Chairman, Press Council of India, irrespective of the fact that it may be so or not so.
4. It is a settled principle of law and it is that—justice should not only be done but seen to be done. Thus, if any decision is taken to interfere with the judgment of the Supreme Court and accord a pardon, the public shall harbour an apprehension, that the same has been done after getting influenced by the colour of the strong statutory authority of the Chairman of the Press Council of India.
5.Under such circumstances, this is to request you to not to assign any cognisance to the letter under reference, and the same may be filed.