Sahara yet to fully deposit money ordered by SC, says SEBI chief

Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi said they are just following the apex court orders of 2012 and the company is yet to fully deposit the court ordered amount with them.

The recovered amount was supposed to be paid back to the bondholders and investors of Sahara. (Reuters)
The recovered amount was supposed to be paid back to the bondholders and investors of Sahara. (Reuters)

The Sebi on Tuesday clarified that Sahara is yet to fully deposit the money ordered by the Supreme Court in August 2012 and that the group has so far given only around Rs 15,000 crore while the total amount due to be deposited is Rs 25,781 crore.

Quoting Sebi’s FY21 annual report, a media report said the regulator had paid back only Rs 129 crore to bondholders and that it was maintaining an escrow account with over Rs 23,000 crore.

When asked about what the Sebi is planning to do such large amount of money, Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi told reporters on Tuesday that they are just following the apex court orders of 2012 on the matter and the company is yet to fully deposit the court ordered amount with them.

“According to the apex court order of August 2012, whatever was the total amount that needed to be recovered, irrespective of what was repaid to investors, is not fully paid yet. If my memory serves me right, the amount appeared in a section of the media is only the principal amount of Rs 15,000-odd crore plus and the rest is interest.

“So according to the Supreme Court order whatever is the amount due has to be recovered and deposited with Sebi and then only we can decide on what to do with the money. So we are just following the apex court order,” Tyagi said.

He also said the regulator has issued many advertisements asking investors/bondholder to come forward and who have made their claims have already been paid.

According to the Sebi annual report for FY21, it was holding Rs 23,191 crore of Sahara Group bondholders’ money as of March 2021 and the said amount was held in an escrow account. The amount in the account included Rs 15,473 crore recovered and the interest on it, the report said.

Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that till November 30, Sahara Group’s real estate arm Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and its housing finance arm Sahara Housing Investment Corporation and their promoters and directors have deposited Rs 15,485.80 crore against the principal amount of Rs 25,781.37 crore into the designated account as on November 30, 2021.

The recovered amount was supposed to be paid back to the bondholders and investors of Sahara.

The annual report also said only Rs 129 crore worth of claims were made and settled as of March 31, 2021.

As regard Sahara group not being able to pay back the investors of other schemes, it informed the principal amount raised under RHP of optionally fully convertible debentures was Rs 25,781.37 crore against which only Rs 15,485.80 crore has been deposited with Sebi account and the Sebi has been facilitating the repayment of principal and interest to the investors who invested in optionally fully convertible debentures of the group companies.

The minister also said Sebi refunded to 17,526 eligible bondholders involving 48,326 original bond certificates/pass books for an aggregate amount of Rs 138.07 crore–Rs 70.09 crore as principal amount and Rs 67.98 crore as interest. Sebi received 19,644 applications involving 53,642 original bond certificates/pass books for an aggregate amount of Rs 81.70 crore.

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