Sahara Group’s chief Subrata Roy passed away in Mumbai at the age of 75.
The spotlight is once again on the over ₹20,000 crore in undistributed funds held by the Securities and Exchange Board of India or Sebi, the capital markets regulator, following accusations that Roy’s group firms bypassed regulations with Ponzi schemes—a charge consistently denied by his group.
Sebi recovered ₹25,000 crore from Sahara Group
In 2011, SEBI directed Sahara Group firms — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIREL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) — to refund funds raised from about 3 crore investors through Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCDs), citing a violation of rules. It was promised that the securities could be converted into shares at the expiry of a certain period at a predetermined price, if the investor chooses.
After a legal process, the Supreme Court upheld SEBI’s decision in 2012, instructing Sahara to deposit around ₹24,000 crore for investor refund.
Sebi reported that, as of March 31, this year, it has recovered an aggregate amount of ₹15,646.68 crore. This sum, along with accrued interest post refunds to eligible bondholders, has been deposited in nationalised banks in compliance with the SC’s judgment. As per Sebi’s statement, the total amount deposited in the nationalised banks as of March 31, 2023, stands at approximately ₹25,163 crore.
What happened to SIREL, SHICL investors’ money?
In the latest annual report, Sebi said issuing refunds of ₹138.07 crore to investors of two Sahara Group firms over 11 years. As of March 31, 2023, Sebi received 19,650 applications involving 53,687 accounts, with refunds made for 17,526 applications totaling ₹138.07 crore, including ₹67.98 crore in interest. Some applications were closed as their records were untraceable in data provided by Sahara Group firms.
What happens to Sahara cooperatives depositors’ funds?
In August, the government initiated the process to refund ₹5,000 crore to 10 crore depositors stuck in Sahara Group’s four cooperative societies within 9 months. The government, following a Supreme Court order, transferred ₹5,000 crore from the Sahara-Sebi refund account for the refunds.
Cooperation Minister Amit Shah launched the ‘CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal’ in July, registering around 18 lakh depositors. The refund is in process and will not have any impact from Roy’s demise.
(Inputs from PT