Sahara case: Sebi to take another shot at selecting certifier

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SummaryThe Securities and Exchange Board of India will soon restart the entire process of appointing an entity to check the genuineness of investors in the Sahara case.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will soon restart the entire process of appointing an entity to check the genuineness of investors in the Sahara case. The regulator was not comfortable with the kind of agencies that have till now showed interest for doing the authentication.

“We are very serious... And we want some good and reliable agencies to come forward. Maybe we didn’t have enough confidence in some of the agencies (that had showed interest),” said UK Sinha, chairman, Sebi.

On Tuesday, the capital market watchdog put on hold the process of appointing an in-person verification (IPV) agency to help it ascertain the genuineness of bondholders in the Sahara case, wherein two entities have been directed to refund over R24,000 crore to more than 2 crore investors.

“The notice inviting tender for assisting Sebi in KYC-related ‘in person verification’ of bondholders (in the Sahara matter) is hereby withheld until further notice,” Sebi said in a notice. Interestingly, Sebi had extended the deadline twice for submission of bids by public sector banks and KYC registration agencies (KRAs) for selection as an IPV agency.

Sebi had first floated the tender on November 2 and asked PSU banks and KRAs to submit their applications by November 22. Later, it extended the deadline for bid submission to December 21, which was again extended until January 15.

Reports suggest that a pre-bid meeting was held by Sebi with interested parties on November 7, wherein at least four entities — Karvy, CAMS, NSDL and CDSL — had evinced interest. The selected IPV agency will be mandated to interact ‘face-to-face’ with all investors in the Sahara case to ascertain their genuineness.

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