SEBI orders another Sahara firm to refund ₹14,000 cr raised via bonds

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 01, 2018 Published on November 01, 2018

In a fresh crackdown on the Sahara group, SEBI has found another group firm to have raised over ₹14,000 crore in violation of rules and has ordered the company and its then directors, including Subrata Roy, to refund the money with 15 per cent annual interest.

The order, which also bars the company, Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd (SICCL), as well as its then directors and associated entities from the markets and from associating with any public entity, relates to collecting funds between 1998 and 2009 from nearly two crore investors through issuance of bonds.

SEBI has passed this new order even as a long-running legal dispute plays out in the Supreme Court over an earlier order from the capital markets regulator asking two other Sahara firms to refund over ₹24,000 crore garnered by issuing similar bonds — the optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) — to nearly three crore people.

While Sahara has been asked to refund the money to a special SEBI account under a Supreme Court-monitored repayment process, the group has been saying it has already refunded more than 98 per cent of the amount directly to investors and the proof for the same has been given to SEBI.

In case of SICCL too, the SEBI order mentioned that the company made submissions that it has already refunded the money collected from the investors in cash, barring ₹18 crore for which the bondholders did not turn up for the refund. But, the regulator said the company did not provide any proof of repayment through banking channels.

In her order, Sebi Whole Time Member Madhabi Buch said repayments must be done through a non-transferable bank demand draft or pay order. She added that the refund amount directions would be modified for money claimed to be returned to investors — if payments were made through the prescribed route and certified by peer-reviewed CAs.

Published on November 01, 2018
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