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S Ganesh plays victim card to SC for Sahara over dead Mirach loan; Subrata remains jailed

The Sahara Group Wednesday told the Supreme Court that its deal with the Mirach Capital Group to raise a $650-million loan to comply with the court’s order to deposit Rs.5,000 crore in cash and bank guarantee of like amount has collapsed.

The apex court Jan 9 had permitted Sahara group to raise a “junior loan” of $650 million from Mirach Capital Group for the payment of Rs.5,000 crore in cash and a bank guarantee of like amount towards part payment of investors money that it had raised through the Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures(OFCDs) in 2008-2009.

The court by its March 26, 2014 order had asked the Sahara Group to deposit the amount in cash.

It had also asked for a bank guarantee of like amount for part payment of investors’ money -- a condition for the release of group head Subrata Roy and two directors from custody.

Senior counsel S Ganesh, appearing for Sahara, told the Justice TS Thakur-headed apex court bench that the Sahara Group was in talks with another leading overseas bank to raise the money to comply with the court’s order.

Ganesh told this to the court after amicus curiae Shekhar Naphade told the court about the controversy that has surfaced between Sahara Group and the Mirach Capital Group over the deal.

Naphade apprised the court about the allegations and counter allegations being exchanged between Sahara and Mirach Capital Group.

Asking Naphade to explore the alternate means to raise the money, the court wondered how could Sahara Group, having experience in financial dealings, say that it was tricked.

“You examine all other alternatives for getting money” the court asked Naphade as he told the court that there was “much more to it than meets the eye”.

Telling the court that they were victims, Ganesh said they had paid $2.625 million as service charges.

The senior counsel told the court that they came to know about the alleged letter, issued by Bank of America being forged Jan 31 and Feb 2, they filed an affidavit before the court stating their position.

Having told the court that they were victims, Ganesh said that we have much more at stake as Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two directors were in jail since March 4, 2014.

At this, the court asked Sahara to show to the amicus curiae the papers of whatever new deals it was entering into to raise the money. The court said after that it could make an application for the hearing of the matter.

The apex court Aug 31, 2012, had directed the Sahara group’s two companies -- SIRECL and SHICL -- to return investors Rs.17,400 crore then collected through OFCDs in 2008-2009 along with 15 percent interest. The said amount, according to SEBI, has more than doubled.

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