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Market regulator at fault in Sahara case, apex court told

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court was Wednesday informed that the stock market regulator could not have taken up the issue of Sahara group of companies mopping up Rs.17,400 crore through debentures and ordered their refund.

Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Sahara India Real Estate Corp, told the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) took up the matter even though there was no complaint from any investor.

The court was told that the investors in the optional fully convertible debentures were getting in time what was due to them.

Nariman told this to the court in the course of a hearing on appeals filed by Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Investment Corp.

The two firms had challenged the Securities Appellate Tribunal's (SAT) award last year directing them to refund Rs.17,400 crore they had collected from investors.

There was no complaint by any of the investors who had the right to initiate action if aggrieved, Nariman said.

The senior counsel told the court that the SEBI wanted details on the investors and that was given to it in a CD.

Justice Radhakrishnan asked the senior counsel why was the Sahara company not listed in the stock market. Nariman told the court that it was under no compulsion to do so.

The judge told the senior counsel that the court knew that it was not compulsory for a company to get listed but the court wanted to know the reason why it decided against it. Nariman offered to address the court's query later.