SEBI’s ‘Sahara coffer’ swells to ₹11,727 crore

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on June 12, 2016


But regulator has refunded only ₹55 cr to investors

As it gears up to auction Sahara properties worth thousands of crores to recover further funds, market regulator SEBI’s Sahara Refund Account has swelled to ₹11,727 crore with interest, but it has been able to refund just about ₹55 crore so far to investors.

In the long-running SEBI-Sahara case, the Supreme Court in August 2012 had ordered the Lucknow-based conglomerate to deposit with the regulator over ₹24,000 crore collected from nearly three crore investors through issuance of some bonds.

While Sahara Group maintains that it had directly refunded to investors nearly 95 per cent of the money, it has also deposited a portion of the amount with SEBI.

As the case continues, SEBI is now preparing to auction nearly 60 land parcels of the Sahara Group, out of which dates have been so far fixed for July for 26 properties with a reserve price of about ₹3,100 crore, while Sahara chief Subrata Roy is now out on parole after spending over two years in the national capital’s high-profile Tihar Jail.

Roy is undertaking an ‘aabhar yatra’ (thanksgiving tour) across India to meet his supporters, staff and investors.

In the latest update on the amount deposited by Sahara and the refunds made so far, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has disclosed in the fineprint of its draft annual accounts for 2015-16 that the “amount refunded to the bondholders so far is ₹54.43 crore (including interest).”

As per the court orders, Sahara has to pay for the expenses incurred by SEBI with regard to the refund process, including safe-keeping and verification of investor documents. SEBI has been allowed to take money towards such expenses from the interest earned on the money deposited by Sahara for investor refunds.

Sahara’s stance

When contacted, Sahara maintained its stance that there has been no wrongdoing on its part though the total amount deposited with SEBI would be more than ₹14,000 crore, including the interest earned on FDs.

Stating that refunds so far have been only ₹50 crore and no more repayment demands might come, the group also said that a due investor-verification process would prove Sahara’s stand and the money would come back to it. SEBI’s annual accounts, which would be presented before its board this week for its approval, said Sahara had remitted ₹5,120 crore on December 5, 2012, to the designated ‘SEBI-Sahara Refund Account’, pursuant to the Supreme Court orders dated August 31, 2012, and December 5, 2012.

Published on June 12, 2016
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