Economy

Subrata Roy Appears in Court, Non-Bailable Warrant Cancelled

The Sahara chairman appeared in court and furnished the bail along with the others. Credit: PTI

The Sahara chairman appeared in court and furnished the bail bonds along with the others. Credit: PTI

Mumbai: A SEBI court on Friday cancelled its non-bailable arrest warrants (NBW) against Sahara chief Subrata Roy and three of his group firms’ directors after they appeared before it in a case filed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against them.

The special SEBI court cancelled the NBWs against them after they furnished fresh bail bonds of Rs 2 lakh each and gave undertakings to the court that they would attend its trial proceeding against them regularly.

The court further decided to frame charges in the SEBI case against Roy and his three group firms’ directors – Ravishankar Dubey, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Vandana Bhargava on May 18.

The SEBI had filed a case against Sahara India Real Estate Corporation, Sahara Housing Investment, their promoter Subrata Roy and the three directors in 2012, alleging that these companies had collected a huge amount of money from investors without listing the securities on the stock exchanges.

As Roy and others had not appear before the court earlier, non-bailable warrants were issued against them on March 31 this year. The accused had challenged the issue of NBWs against them in the Bombay high court, which asked them to approach the trial court before May 3 for relief.

According to the SEBI, the Sahara Group companies had issued `Optional Fully Convertible Debentures’ for the public in 2009 under the garb of private placement. This violated the SEBI Act because companies have to list such securities on the stock exchanges, which they did not do.

Although the complaint did not specify the amount collected from investors, it is estimated that it worked out to around Rs 24,000 crore, said SEBI lawyer Omprakash Jha who appeared along with advocate Purnima Advani.

The maximum punishment for the offence is ten years’ jail term and fine of Rs 25 crore, Jha said.

The Supreme Court had recently asked Roy, who has been released on parole, to appear before it on April 28 and had also ordered the Bombay high court’s official liquidator to auction Sahara property Amby Valley.