The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Sahara Group to explain how it had raised Rs. 25,000 crore and paid to its “duped” investors in cash, observing that it is “difficult to digest” as such a huge amount “cannot fall from the heavens”.
Asking for explanation, the top court asked: “You (Sahara Group) tell us what is the source of this money? Did you get the money from other companies or other schemes to the tune of Rs 24,000 crore? Withdrew it from bank accounts? Or sold property to get it? ”
“It should be any of the three alternatives. Money does not fall from the heavens. You have to show from where you have got the money. Though we don’t doubt the capacity of your client to pay crores of money to investors, that too in cash in two months,” the court said.
“But the entire explanation of the episode is difficult to digest. Tell us the source of the cash and there will be no need to open the pandora box,” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur added.
After spending more than two years in Tihar Jail, Sahara chief Subrata Roy is out on parole for allegedly duping the investors who had spent towards housing scheme.
The bench asked Sahara to reveal the source from which it drew the amount within two months.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Sahara, said the money was withdrawn from various schemes. “I have already filed an affidavit,” he submitted.
Senior advocate Arvind P Dattar, who was appearing for market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), agreed with the court, saying they cannot go and verify Sahara’s investors, but wanted to know the source of its money.
He argued that the most which can be assumed against Sahara is that the money is unaccounted for. “If it’s black money, who is Sebi to investigate? It is a matter of income-tax,” Sibal argued.