Sebi chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch on Thursday said the Sahara matter will continue for the capital markets regulator even after the death of the group’s founder Subrata Roy.
Roy died in Mumbai on Tuesday after a prolonged illness at the age of 75.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci event, Buch said for Sebi, the Sahara matter was about an entity’s conduct and added that it will continue regardless of whether an individual is there or not.
When asked why the refunds have been too less, Buch said the monies were returned through a Supreme Court-appointed committee basis the evidence of the claims made by investors.
It has been reported that refunds of only Rs 138 crore have been made to investors even though Sahara group was asked to deposit over Rs 24,000 crore with Sebi for further refund to investors.
Sahara group has faced many allegations, including that of running a Ponzi scheme. Troubles for Roy started in November 2010 with Sebi asking two entities of Sahara group not to mobilise funds from equity markets or from issuance of any security to the public while restraining Roy from approaching the public for raising money.
Roy was arrested in 2014 on the orders of the Supreme Court after he failed to appear before it in a contempt case arising out of non-refund of more than Rs 20,000 crore to investors by the two companies.
He was later granted bail but troubles continued for his various businesses.
The two Sahara group companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECA) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation — raised funds in 2007-08 through a debenture instrument, OFCD.
In June 2011, the capital markets regulator asked the two entities to refund money collected from investors through Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCD) along with the return.
After a long process of appeals and cross-appeals, the Supreme Court, in 2012 ordered refund of deposits of its investors along with 15 per cent interest.
Sahara was eventually asked to deposit an estimated Rs 24,000 crore with Sebi for further refund to investors, though the group always maintained it amounted to “double payment” as it had already refunded more than 95 per cent of investors directly.