SEBI has referred to the Maharashtra government a case of the Sahara Q shop issuing bonds as the activity did not fall under its regulatory purview, a letter issued by the securities watchdog said on Saturday. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) asked the state government to take necessary action under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act 1999, Prize Chit and Money Circulation Banning act 1978 and Indian Penal Code against Sahara. SEBI undertook the exercise in compliance with the February 11, 2015 order of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court in relation to a petition filed by UP cadre IPS officer Amitabh Thakur and social activist Nutan Thakur. SEBI informed the petitioners, through its letter on October 17, that the activities of Sahara Q shop did not fall under regulatory purview of SEBI (CIS) Regulations 1999 and, therefore, it was referring the matter to the Maharashtra government. The petitioners had complained that like previous cases of Sahara India Real Estate and Sahara Housing, the Sahara Q shop bonds, too, were collecting public money bypassing the law of the land. This, they contended, had put the interest of investors in complete jeopardy.