Sahara disputes report on 'investors'
Sahara on Friday said it strongly objected to a report published by an Indian news agency which said the investors of the company are not traceable.
"We strongly object to the PTI story with the headline 'Sahara Investor's Untraceable but Search Empty SEBI Coffers' which says that the investors of Sahara are not traceable," Sahara said in a statement on Friday.
Slamming Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the company said: " We suspect that this is a highly malicious campaign initiated by SEBI with a very clear intention to siphon off money from the funds that Saharas have deposited with SEBI, purely for the repayment to its investors. It is really unfortunate and unbecoming of a regulator, the way SEBI is blowing hot and cold, both, at a time."
It said: "Only on 13.03.2014, counsel for SEBI argued before the Hon'ble Supreme Court that Saharas issue was a public issue, being subscribed by 3.03 crores of investors and as such a largest issue, while now SEBI takes a plea that sahara's investors are untraceable. We ask SEBI to disclose the basis of their such contention, else withdraw their statement. The fact is that, when SEBI sent letters to about 20 thousand account numbers and asked that many of the letters were not responded, we immediately got affidavits from a large number of such investors and submitted with SEBI affidavits, authentic KYC documents and photographs of almost all those investors to whom SEBI had sent the letters, of whom those who were already paid, also confirmed that they had received redemption of their investments, to their full satisfaction."
Sahara said SEBI's claim that Saharas' investors are untraceable is an 'irresponsible statement, being false and baseless'.
It said: "In any event, as per SC order, SEBI has to associate Sahara, where it is unable to find any investor. It is not known, why SEBI is not following this direction, and why it is only interested in extracting money from Sahara, when it has not been able to refund even one crore rupees to the investors, in more than last 15 months, out of Rs 5120 crores paid by Sahara to SEBI for this purpose. SEBI's intentions are unfair and heavily loaded with acute malafide."
Sahara said SEBI is maligning Sahara's name to achieve 'sinister goal.
"In order to achieve this sinister goal, SEBI is maligning Sahara's name by stating that there are no depositors while on 4thMarch 2014 the council of SEBI admitted before Hon'ble Supreme Court that they have just completed the scanning and digitization of the 3.03 crore investor's documents provided by Sahara. Therefore the verification process has still not started," it said.
"Sahara has provided full details of all its depositors, including those whom Saharas have repaid. The monies Rs 5120 crore that has been given to SEBI by Sahara is purely for repayment to its investors and not for any kind of miscellaneous expenses to be incurred by any party. The Minister of Finance, Shri Namo Narayan Meena answering to a question on the floor of the parliament has clearly stated that the money given by Sahara is for refund to Saharas' investors only and the money would not be utilized for any other purpose. The money received by SEBI will only be used for the repayment of the investors and till now SEBI has only refunded only Rs. 1 crore. This is a sinister attempt by SEBI to eat away investors' money. Till now, in Saharas' case SEBI has not shown any intention to protect the interest of investors, for which it has been constituted. How can SEBI even think of usurping investors' money?" read the company statement.
"We will not let SEBI make this another Golden Forest Case where investors have still not got their hard earned money and will stand and fight till the end in the interest of our Hon'ble investors," it said.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday rejected Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy's petition to be released from custody.
The SC bench directed the Sahara Group to come up with a fresh refund proposal, unless which, the apex curt said it cannot consider Roy's interim bail plea.
The court has set the next date of hearing on his plea for release on Mar 25.
The Sahara Group on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the detention of its chief and two other directors in connection with a refund case.
The Supreme Court on Mar 7 rejected Sahara Group's proposal to pay its investors in installments in a time-bound manner.
The Sahara told the apex court that it is ready to pay Rs 2500 cr in three working days and the rest of the amount in an-year-and-a-half.
The apex court had asked Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to give its opinion on the matter.
The SEBI reportedly opposed to the proposal.
The Supreme Court on Mar 4 sent Subrata Roy and two other company directors to judicial custody till Mar 11.
The apex court had asked the Sahara group to come up with a proposal to repay the money which it owes to its investors.
The detention of the fourth respondent, Vandana Bhargava was not ordered as she has been given a concession for being a woman director.
Roy was brought to New Delhi from Lucknow via Agra on Mar 3 night.
(Posted on 15-03-2014)