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SEBI urges SC to ask Sahara chief to pay up $8.43 bn, or go to jail

New Delhi: Controversial chit-fund scam accused Subrata Roy, who was profiled by the popular TV serial Bad Boy Billionaires: India, along with Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, recently, hit the headlines again on Friday.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has urged the Supreme Court to direct Sahara Group Chairman Subrata Roy to pay Rs. 62,600 crore (USD 8.43 billion), to stay out of jail.

In a petition filed in the apex court, the Indian market regulator also requested the court to cancel Subrata Roy’s parole if he fails to make the payment immediately.

According to media reports, SEBI said the Sahara India Parivar’s two companies’ and Roy’s outstanding liability stands at Rs 62,600 crore, including interest.

Roy’s liabilities have surged sharply from the Rs 25,700 crore he was ordered to pay almost eight years ago.

In 2012, the apex court had ruled that the Sahara group of companies had violated securities laws and illegally raised over $3.5 billion in cash from millions of poor Indians who could not avail of banking facilities.

In fact, despite efforts, SEBI could not trace Sahara’s “investors”. On failure to pay up, the court had sent Roy to jail.

According to media reports, the Sahara Group has claimed that SEBI’s demand is “wrong” and that the market regulator had “mischievously” added 15 percent interest. It is a case of double payment as the company has already paid back investors, Sahara claimed.

(VP)