Sahara: Subrata Roy's Death Not To Impede Investigation, Says Govt
Moneylife Digital Team 15 December 2023
The death of Sahara group founder and chief Subrata Roy would not impede various ongoing investigations in Sahara group companies, the Union government clarified. Further, the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has paid Rs138.07 crore out of Rs15,646.68 crore realised to 17,526 bond-holders of Sahara group companies, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL), Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL), the Lok Sabha was informed. 
 
Dr Sukanta Majumdar, a member of Parliament (MP), has asked the government's line of action as the Sahara group chief is no more, and SEBI, too, has failed to return the investments to the public. 
 
Responding to this, Rao Inderjit Singh, minister of state for corporate affairs, says, "Ongoing aforesaid investigations would not be impeded by the death of any person."
 
According to the written reply, SEBI received 19,650 applications in total involving 53,687 accounts. "On the basis of verifiable documents, SEBI made refunds with respect to 17,526 eligible bondholders involving 48,326 accounts for an aggregate amount of Rs138.07 crore, including Rs70.09 crores as principal and Rs67.98 crore as an interest."
 
The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) had ordered an investigation into three companies: Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd, Sahara Q Shop Unique Products Range Ltd and  Sahara Q Gold Mart Ltd and, on 31 October 2018, assigned the probe to the serious fraud investigation office (SFIO). 
 
Further, on 27 October 2020, the ministry ordered an investigation into six companies from the Sahara group, including Aamby Valley Ltd, Qing Ambay City Developers Corporation Ltd, Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd (SICCL), Sahara Prime City Ltd, Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd, and SIRECL, Mr Singh says.
 
In a separate reply, Pankaj Chaudhary, minister of state for finance, told the lower house that three companies from Sahara group, SIRECL, SHICL and SICCL, which are regulated by SEBI, have 5.06 crore investors who have deposited Rs39887.37 crore in these companies.
 
 
According to Mr Chaudhary, following various orders passed by the Supreme Court and the attachment orders of SEBI, an aggregate amount of Rs15,646.68 crore against the principal amount of Rs25,781.37 crore has been realised as of 31 March 2023 by the market regulator.
 
"Based on directions issued from time to time by the Supreme Court, advice rendered by justice (retd) BN Agarwal appointed by the apex court and validation of the applications received, SEBI has made refunds to 17,526 eligible bondholders for an aggregate amount of Rs138.07 crore. SEBI has further filed an interlocutory application on 21 December 2021 seeking further directions from the Supreme Court in the matter. A special bench has been constituted to hear the matter," the minister says.
 
In an order on 31 October 2018, SEBI had directed SICCL and the company directors to refund the money collected to its bondholders. "The matter is sub-judice before the securities appellate tribunal (SAT) and Supreme Court," Mr Chaudhary says.
 
In 2012, SEBI won a landmark order from the SC against two companies and promoters and directors of Sahara group to deposit Rs25,781.37 crore with the regulator. The apex court asked SEBI to refund the money to investors under the supervision of a retired SC judge.
 
Over the past decade, this kitty swelled to Rs25,163 crore, including interest, after paying out a mere Rs138 crore to 17,526 investors—even though Sahara had deposited just a little over Rs15,000 crore. (Read: Sahara: Ghost, Duped Investors & Regulatory Failure)
 
On 29 March 2023, following the home ministry's intervention and another SC order, SEBI was asked to transfer Rs5,000 crore to the central registrar of cooperatives to pay back investors of these four cooperatives. (Read: Sahara Refunds: A Silent Regulator and a Mysterious and Confusing Supreme Court Order). The press information bureau (PIB) hailed this as a 'historic decision' that would give back 100mn (million) investors their money and a portal was quickly set up to upload depositors' claims in April 2023.
 
At that time, Moneylife Foundation had filed an intervention petition (Read: Supreme Court Directs SEBI, Sahara To Respond in Interim Applications Filed by Moneylife Foundation) in the SC on behalf of investors of the Sahara Cooperative Society. We also formed a Telegram group of nearly 1,000 Sahara investors, who confirm that nobody has received a single rupee from the government so far.
 
As Sucheta Dalal, managing editor of Moneylife, wrote in her weekly column, transferring this large sum of money to CFI will, hopefully, end the futile exercise being conducted by SEBI for over a decade (Read: Sahara files contempt petition in Supreme Court against SEBI). Significantly, media leaks about this potential action make no mention of the claims of investors in the Sahara Cooperatives—instead, there is talk about how a reduction in government borrowing will boost bond markets. (Read: Financial Frauds Caught in a Farcical Recovery Process: Sahara, Pancard & PACL
 
Earlier this month, Subarata Roy, the founder of Sahara India Pariwar, breathed his last in Mumbai following a cardiac arrest after a prolonged illness. Mr Roy also spent over two years in jail for contempt of court. He remained out on bail.
 
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Comments
pranabacharjee438
4 months ago
Mam i also file application in sahara mocrefund.crcs.gov.in.. Still not get penny.
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