Fighting a long-running battle with Sebi, Sahara Group on Tuesday said it will submit new title deeds for properties worth Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) to the market regulator, which had termed assets offered earlier as highly over-valued.
The fresh proposal follows after the Supreme Court last week restrained Sahara group from selling any properties and restrained Subrata Roy and three other top executives from leaving the country without the court's permission. The court will hear the matter next on December 11.
While disagreeing with Sebi's view that the properties offered earlier as security for Rs 20,000 crore were overvalued, the group said in a public notice published in various newspapers today that it would "submit title deeds relating to other properties of Sahara aggregating Rs 20,000 crore, instead of debating any further on the issue raised."
The group said it "has been making sincere efforts over the last few months to comply with the order of Supreme Court pertaining to the ongoing litigation with the Sebi" and assured its depositors, customers and business associates that it will successfully "overcome these challenges".
The Supreme Court has asked the group to hand over title deeds of unencumbered properties worth Rs 20,000 crore to Sebi, which was last year tasked with the job of refunding over Rs 24,000 crore (Rs 240 billion) to investors from whom two Sahara firms had raised money through issue of certain debentures.
The group has submitted Rs 5,120 crore (Rs 51.20 billion) so far to Sebi, while earlier it has claimed to have already refunded more than Rs 20,000 crore directly to the concerned investors.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had informed the apex court on November 20 that the group had overvalued the worth of two properties offered as security earlier this month and accused the group of not handing over all original title deeds for assets worth Rs 20,000 crore.
In its last hearing on November 21, the apex court said that its last month's direction for submission of properties worth Rs 20,000 crore "has not been complied with in its letter and spirit".
Sahara had submitted documents for two plots of land – a 106-acre land in Versova, a western suburb of Mumbai, which it estimated at around Rs 19,000 crore (Rs 190 billion), and a 200-acre land in Vasai, which it estimated to be worth about Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion).
The case related to Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) and Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) raising more than Rs 24,000 from an estimated three crore investors through issuance of certain bonds between 2008-2009.
Sebi, however, charged them of having raised these funds through various illegalities and restrained them in November 2010 from mobilising further funds. Subsequently, Sebi ordered refund of money through an order passed in June 2011.
The matter later reached the Supreme Court, which passed an order on August 31, 2012 asking Sahara firms to deposit the money with Sebi for refund of investors' money.