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SEBI Says Sahara Group Is Yet To Pay The Full Amount As Per The Order Of 2012 Ruling

Sahara Chief - Subrata Roy

Sahara Group on Wednesday said that there is no point in asking it to deposit more money as for the last 9 years, the sum of Rs 24,000 crore lying unused with the market regulator- SEBI and it is also affecting the business interests of the group.

The statement from the business group has come following the Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi’s statement that the Sahara group has not deposited the money ordered by the Supreme Court in August 2012 yet and the group so far has submitted only  Rs 15,000 crore out of Rs 25,781 crore. According to Sebi’s FY21 annual report, the market regulator paid bondholders just Rs 129 crore and maintained an escrow account with over Rs 23,000 crore.

In a statement, Sahara Group said that as per the August 31, 2012 order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the group was supposed to deposit principal amount and interest assuming that every depositor has to be paid which was not the case and the same came to the knowledge of the court within three months’ time from pronouncing the order.

“The Supreme Court took note of the fact that the number of claimants who were still to be repaid, was far less. Hence, it is an incorrect statement from Sebi to ask Sahara to deposit more,” the group said.

It further said the regulator after giving the advertisements in 154 newspapers four times in the last nine years across the country has paid back Rs 129 crore to the investors of Sahara.

In its last advertisement, with publishing date — March 2018, Sebi categorically put that it will consider the further claim received after July 2018, Sahara said.

“It means that for Sebi there are no more claimants to be paid which is due to the fact that majority of investors were already repaid by Sahara; and as per the order of Supreme Court, the amount of Rs 24,000 crore will eventually come back to Sahara so there is no question of further payment,” the group said.

“It is unreasonable to ask Sahara to deposit any money further as this huge amount of Rs 24,000 crore been lying unutilised with Sebi for the last nine years which is not only hurting the interest of Sahara as a business organisation but also impeding the economic growth of our country especially in these testing times,” it added.

More than 95% of Sahara’s bondholders have already been reimbursed,  as per the company.

Sahara claims it has placed more than Rs 24,000 crore in a Sahara-Sebi escrow account, including interest, since 2012 to comply with the court’s decision, despite the fact that the bulk of its investors have already been compensated. It emphasised that these payments are technically two payments against a single liability: first, Sahara repaid investors, and subsequently the identical sum was reported to Sebi.

On Tuesday, Tyagi said Sebi is talking in the lines of an SC court dated back in 2012 on the matter and the company is pending to pay the court-ordered amount with them.

“According to the apex court order of August 2012, whatever was the total amount that needed to be recovered, irrespective of what was repaid to investors, is not fully paid yet. If my memory serves me right, the amount appeared in a section of the media is only the principal amount of Rs 15,000-odd crore plus and the rest is interest.”

“So, according to the Supreme Court order, whatever is the amount due has to be recovered and deposited with Sebi and then only we can decide on what to do with the money. So, we are just following the apex court order,” Tyagi had said.

He had also said the regulator had advertised many times, urging investors/ bondholders to come forward and those who had claimed for the same have already been paid. According to the Sebi annual report, as of March 2021, the Sebi was holding Rs 23,191 crore in Sahara Group bondholders’ money in an escrow account.

According to the report, the sum in the account includes Rs 15,473 crore retrieved plus interest.

 

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