Monday 17 December, 2018
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US-based Mirach Group to initiate $400-million defamation suit against Sahara

Mirach CEO Saransh Sharma

Washington, March 17 (IANS) After the souring of its deal with Sahara, US-based Mirach Capital Group (MCG) has said it will initiate a $400-million defamation suit against the Indian group alleging “irreparable harm” and “shaken investor confidence”.

The syndicate of five British and US investors, which had in January made a $2.05 billion loan offer to embattled Sahara group chief Subrata Roy, on Monday accused the Indian firm of hurling “unfounded allegations” against it.

Even as “factual evidence” completely dismisses Sahara’s “trumped up” allegations of forgery, Sahara and its representatives continue to attempt to discredit Mirach and its CEO Saransh Sharma in the court of public opinion, it said in a statement.

Accusing Sahara’s representatives of breaching an exclusivity contract with it, Mirach said it was announcing a defamation lawsuit to the amount of $400 million against the Sahara Group, as well as an unnamed “news organisation believed to be a collaborator”.

Mirach said: “Unable to make payments on the interest of the proposed loan package, and being an unwilling seller of the properties, Sahara launched a series of false allegations to discredit Mirach and kill the loan transaction.

“It further attempted to discredit CEO Saransh Sharma, launching unproven allegations of forgery that have claimed to be validated by Sahara’s ‘internal investigations’.”

Mirach said that when it fought back against those allegations, Sahara “trumped up” stories of a US probe.

Mirach asserted that no US federal authorities had contacted it or its directors so far for any probe.

Mirach added: “In light of these actions, which have caused irreparable harm in the form of loss of income, shaken investor confidence, personal injury and more, Mirach Capital Group is prepared to litigate until justice is served.”

Roy has been trying to raise money to secure his release on bail from Delhi’s Tihar Jail where he has been locked up since March 2014 on the Supreme Court’s orders for failing to refund his investors.

The apex court on March 13 granted Roy a “final chance” to raise Rs.10,000 crore to make part repayment of investors’ money raised by the company in 2008 and 2009 — which is also a condition for his and two other directors’ release from custody.

Mirach’s original loan offer was made against the Sahara group’s hospitality properties including the Plaza Hotel in New York, the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, Sahara Star in Mumbai and Aamby Valley resorts in Maharashtra.

Last month, accusing Mirach Capital of cheating and forgery in the failed $2.05-billion financing deal, Sahara said it had initiated legal action against the US-based firm.

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