In a significant development, Sahara Group’s cooperative societies have informed the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies about the withdrawal from the Sahara-SEBI fund to repay the group’s investors. The Supreme Court has provided specific instructions to ensure the refund process’s transparency and effectiveness.
Details: The Supreme Court has ordered that Rs. 5,000 Crores be transferred from the total Rs. 24,979.67 Crores in the “Sahara-SEBI Refund Account” to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies. This amount will then be paid to the genuine depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies, ensuring transparency, proper identification, and providing proof of their deposits and claims.
Justice R. Subhash Reddy, former Supreme Court judge, along with Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, will supervise the disbursement. They will work in conjunction with the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies to establish the payment modalities. The order mandates the payment to the genuine depositors within nine months at the latest.
To comply with the Supreme Court’s order, the Ministry of Cooperation has transferred Rs. 5,000 Crore from the Sahara-SEBI Refund Account to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies. An online portal, the “Sahara-CRCS Refund portal”, was launched on 18th July 2023 for genuine depositors of the Sahara Group’s four Multi-State Cooperative Societies to submit their refund claims.
Conclusion: The depositors can access the portal and submit their refund claims by filing an online application and uploading necessary documents. The portal will entertain only claims filed online. On confirmation of the availability of funds, the payment will be credited to the genuine depositor’s Aadhaar-seeded bank account within 45 days after filing their online claims, with the status updated through SMS/Portal.
Ministry of Cooperation
As per the submissions made by the four Sahara group of cooperative societies namely Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Lucknow, Saharayan Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd., Bhopal, Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Kolkata and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd., Hyderabad during the hearings held in November, 2019 to December, 2020 before the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies, an amount of Rs. 62,643 Crore has been invested in Aamby Valley Ltd. and Rs. 2,253 Crore has been taken out from Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd and deposited with SEBI.
On an IA No. 56308/2023 filed by the Ministry of Cooperation in the matter of WP (C) No. 191/2022 –PinakPani Mohanty vs UoI & ors., the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide order dated 29.03.2023, inter alia, directed that:
“(i) Out of the total amount of Rs. 24,979.67 Crores lying in the “Sahara-SEBI Refund Account”, Rs. 5000 Crores be transferred to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies, who, in turn, shall disburse the same against the legitimate dues of the depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies, which shall be paid to the genuine depositors in the most transparent manner and on proper identification and on submitting proof of their deposits and proof of their claims and to be deposited in their respective bank accounts directly.
ii. The disbursement shall be supervised and monitored by Justice R. Subhash Reddy, Former Judge of this Court with the able assistance of Shri Gaurav Agarwal, learned Advocate, who is appointed as Amicus Curiae to assist Justice R. Subhash Reddy as well as the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies in disbursing the amount to the genuine depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies. The manner and modalities for making the payment is to be worked out by the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies in consultation with Justice R. Subhash Reddy, Former Judge of this Court and Shri Gaurav Agarwal, learned Advocate
iii. We direct that the amount be paid to the respective genuine depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies out of the aforesaid amount of Rs. 5,000 Crores at the earliest, but not later than nine months from today. The balance amount thereafter be again transferred to the “Sahara-SEBI Refund Account.”
In compliance of above order, Rs. 5000 Crore has been transferred from Sahara-SEBI Refund Account to Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies. An Online Portal “Sahara-CRCS Refund portal” has been developed for submission of claims by the genuine depositors of four Multi-State Cooperative Societies of Sahara Group. The Portal has been launched on 18.07.2023 and can be accessed through Ministry of Cooperation website https://cooperation.gov.in and https://mocrefund.crcs.gov.in.
The genuine depositors of these Societies may login the portal and submit their refund claims by filing online application and upload requisite documents i.e. proof of their deposits and claims. Only claims filed through online portal will be entertained. Subject to fund availability, the payment to the genuine depositors will be credited in their Aadhar seeded Bank account within 45 days after filing their online claims and they will be intimated the status through SMS/Portal.
This was stated by the Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.