The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking an extension of deadline in the Sahara case. In August, the apex court had directed the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) to decide the case in eight weeks.
The application is likely to come up for hearing on Monday. “Sebi’s application for extension of the deadline will come up on October 10. The timing of the final decision will depend on that,” a Sahara group lawyer told Business Standard.
If the court agrees to the extension, SAT would get four weeks more to deliver its judgement. Otherwise, it would have to deliver its order this week, lawyers said. While adjourning another matter last week, SAT said it was working on the case and not taking any fresh case till October 12.
In August, the apex court had directed the tribunal to hear the appeal of two Sahara group firms against a Sebi order. It gave the tribunal eight weeks to pass an order in the case. The two firms, Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Invest Corp, raised at least Rs 24,029 crore from 29.6 million investors by issuing optionally fully convertible debentures.
Sebi, according to an order passed in June, found the money-raising activity was not in compliance with its public issue rules and ordered the firms to refund the money to investors.
According to the companies, since they are unlisted firms and do not intend to list, the market regulator does not have powers to issue such orders to them. According to them, the firms come under the jurisdiction of the corporate affairs ministry.
SAT conducted elaborate hearing on several facts of the case and points of law, including the jurisdiction of Sebi. On September 16, it reserved the order, asking all parties to make written submissions. Sebi and the companies gave their final statements to SAT two weeks ago.