The Supreme Court on Thursday warned the Sahara Group to reveal source of Rs 22,885 crore (Rs 228.85 billion) which it claimed to have refunded its investors or be ready to face inquiry by CBI and Registrar of Companies.
Sending a clear message that the court is not "helpless" in taking action for flouting its directions, the apex court rapped Sahara chief Subrata Roy and the group for refusing to disclose the source of money.
The apex court's order barring Roy from leaving the country will also continue. "Don't think that the court is helpless. We can ask the CBI and the Registrar of Companies to conduct probe against you. We are not helpless. We will find out the source of money if you don't reveal it. We would ask the probe agencies to find out," a bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said.
The bench expressed its disapproval when it was noted that Sahara has written a letter to SEBI saying that source of the money was "immaterial". It said that behaviour of the company and Roy was "obnoxious".
"Someone from your company has the audacity to say that source is immaterial. If you have refunded the money then you must have the record of the source from where you got the money. We cannot tell you how obnoxious has been the reply.
Your behaviour has been amazing," the bench said, adding, "We have been polite and generous to you but if you give us the stick, then what to do." The bench said that thousands of crores are involved in this case and questioned how the registered companies are not maintaining the account.
"If you have maintained the account then you can find out the details of the source within ten minutes," the bench said. "We showed maximum indulgence to you but you never came out with truth during the last two years. No matter what you do, you have to to give the amount," it said, observing, "If you have done blunder then we can't help you".