The Supreme Court on Monday rapped the Sahara group for not refunding Rs 27,000 crore to investors, who had put their money into two of its companies.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir asked Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) to tell on Tuesday whether they would be able to refund the entire amount to their investors within a week.
Justice Kabir, who is known for his cool demeanour, had some harsh words for the companies for not implementing the apex court's order and said the firms' plea did not merit any hearing. "Your intention is very shaky. Your every step is shaky, we can't interpret our order according to your need," the bench said.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for one of the companies, tried to justify its failure to refund the entire amount, but the bench strongly rebutted him saying,"You are justifying your conduct, which is not justifiable". The bench, however, granted a day's time to the two firms to inform it if they would be able to refund the money or not.
Market regulator Sebi also opposed Sahara's petition and submitted that it had already filed a contempt petition against them and said that strong action should be taken against them.
The bench, however, said it is more concerned about the common man, who has invested his money in the companies. "If you want me to send them to jail, we would send them, but we are more concerned about the investment made by the common man," the bench observed.
During the argument, Justice Kabir lost his cool when senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for another Sahara firm, stood up to argue the case. "This is not the way. Even when your side is losing, you do not have the right to jump in," Justice Kabir said while asking Rohatgi to sit down.