Mumbai: Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy Sahara has challenged executives from the Securities and Exchange Board of India for a live debate on a television channel to present his version of an on-going dispute with the regulator.
“Enough is enough. I hereby challenge and invite the chairman or/and members or/ and executive directors of Sebi for a live debate with me on a TV channel and let people know their wrong intent and deed, as a corporate regulator and clearly understand what extreme degree of injustice is being done by them to malign the image of Sahara India Pariwar,” said a full page advertisement released by the group on Sunday in newspapers. It was signed by Subrata Roy Sahara, managing worker and chairman.
U.K. Sinha is the chairman of the markets regulator.
The salvo from the Sahara group comes after the regulator filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking civil detention of top Sahara group officials including Subrata Roy.
In an emailed release on Friday evening, Sahara described Sebi’s move as a “malicious act”, adding “the fact remains that we have repaid all outstanding liabilities excepting (less than) Rs.5,120 crore which we have paid to Sebi”.
In Sunday’s advertisement, Subrata Roy adds, “I need to say something to the Chairman of Sebi. I have personally written to him thrice seeking an appointment. Till date, however, my request has not been entertained.”
The dispute between Sahara and Sebi pertains to the money that two Sahara firms raised from retail investors through securities called optionally fully convertible debentures. Sebi has alleged that this fund-raising violated its norms.
The advertisement also alleges that B.N. Agarwal, a former judge who was appointed by the apex court to oversee the process of refunds, has refused to meet anyone from the group.
Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint’s editor and some reporters over the newspaper’s coverage of the company’s disputes with Sebi. Mint is contesting the case.