The refund of money stuck in Sahara India Pariwar has been a subject of significant concern and legal proceedings. The Government of India, through the Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has been actively involved in facilitating the refund process. This article delves into the status of the refund initiative, the number of investors affected, the amounts refunded, and the ongoing legal complexities surrounding the issue.
1. Supreme Court Directives: Following the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order dated 31.08.2012, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL) were directed to deposit a substantial amount with SEBI. SEBI was further mandated to refund the amount to bondholders of SIRECL and SHICL, subject to validation of claims.
2. Refund Progress: SEBI has realized a significant amount from Sahara India Pariwar entities and has initiated the refund process to eligible bondholders. As of 31.03.2023, SEBI has refunded Rs. 138.07 crore to 17,526 eligible bondholders. The refund process is ongoing under the supervision of the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R. Subhash Reddy.
3. Legal Proceedings: The matter remains sub-judice before various judicial bodies, including the Securities Appellate Tribunal and the Hon’ble Supreme Court. SEBI’s directives to Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited (SICCL) and its directors for refund are also under scrutiny.
4. Recent Developments: In accordance with the Supreme Court’s order dated 29.03.2023, an amount of Rs. 5000 crores has been transferred to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies. An online portal has been launched to facilitate claims for refund by genuine depositors of Sahara Group’s cooperative societies.
5. Refund Process Details: The disbursement process prioritizes genuine depositors, with payments of up to Rs. 10,000 being disbursed against verified Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts. As of 31.01.2024, approximately 2,77,607 depositors have received a total refund of Rs. 258.47 crores.
6. Conclusion: The refund of money stuck in Sahara India Pariwar is a complex and multi-faceted process involving regulatory oversight, legal proceedings, and meticulous validation of claims. While significant progress has been made in disbursing refunds to eligible investors, the matter continues to be monitored closely by judicial authorities. The Government of India, along with SEBI, remains committed to ensuring transparency, fairness, and expeditious resolution in the refund process, providing relief to affected investors.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 372
TO BE ANSWERED ON MONDAY 05TH FEBRUARY, 2024/ MAGHA 16, 1945
Refund of Money Stuck in Sahara India Pariwar
372 SHRI MAHABALI SINGH
Will the minister of FINANCE be pleased to state:
(a) Whether the Government has decided to refund the money stuck in Sahara India Pariwar;
(b) The number of investors to whom the money is likely to be refunded;
(c) Whether only 10,000 INR amount will be refunded to the investors as of now;
(d) If so, whether the Government has any plan to refund the money of big investors: and
(e) If so, the details thereof?
MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE
(SHRI PANKAJ CHAUDHARY)
(a) to (e): In terms of the Hon’ble Supreme Court order dated 31.08.2012. Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL), Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL) and their Promoters and Directors were directed to deposit an aggregate amount of Rs. 25,781.37 Crore with SEBI, within a period of three months from the date of the order. Pursuant to various Orders passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the attachment Orders of SEBI dated 13.02.2013, an aggregate amount of Rs. 15,646.68 Crores has been realized by SEBI as on 31.03.2023.
Hon’ble Supreme Court also directed SEBI to refund the amount to bondholders of SIRECL and SHICL along with interest on production of relevant documents evidencing payment and after counter checking the records produced by SIRECL and SHICL. SEBI, accordingly, invited applications for refunds through various press releases and advertisements. Based on directions issued from time to time by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, advice rendered by Justice (Retd) B.N. Agarwal appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and validation of the applications received, SEBI has made refunds to 17,526 eligible bondholders for an aggregate amount of Rs. 138.07 crore. SEBI has, further, filed an Interlocutory application dated 21.12.2021 seeking further directions from the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter. A special bench has been constituted to hear the matter.
SEBI, in its order dated 31.10.2018, directed Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited (SICCL) and its directors to refund the money collected, to its bondholders. The matter is sub-judice before the Securities Appellate Tribunal and Hon’ble Supreme Court.
In accordance with the Order dated 29.03.2023 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, an amount of Rs.5000 Crores have been transferred from “SEBI-Sahara Refund Account” to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies on 19.05.2023. An Online Portal has been launched on 18.07.2023 for submission of claims for refund by the genuine depositors of four Multi-State Cooperative Societies of Sahara Group namely Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Lucknow, Saharayn Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd., Bhopal, Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Kolkata and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd., Hyderabad.
The entire process of disbursement is being carried out under the supervision and monitoring of Justice R. Subhash Reddy, Former Judge of Hon’ble Supreme Court. Presently, payment only upto Rs.10,000/- is being disbursed to each genuine depositor of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies against verified claims through Aadhaar seeded Bank account. A total of around 1.21 Crore applications have been registered on the “CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal” and an amount of Rs.258.47 Crore has been released to 2,77,607 depositors of Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies upto 31.01.2024.