Citizens' Issues
Sahara’s full-page ads against SEBI challenged in High Court

According to the petition, Sahara India Pariwar and Subrata Roy have used words as if SEBI is not a regulator and a statutory body but is a rival company and a private entity

Lucknow-based Amitabh Thakur, an officer from the Indian Police Service (IPS) and social activist Dr Nutan Thakur have filed a writ petition against  Sahara India Pariwar and Subrata Roy for its strange full page advertisements for ‘denigrating’ and abusing a statutory, self-regulatory body and a retired supreme court judge. The advertisements issued in almost every newspapers across the country followed the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) move to seek the detention of the Sahara group ‘chief worker’ Subrata Roy and key members of his team and to obtain certain clarifications from the Supreme Court.

The petition filed by the Thakurs before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, alleges that Sahara India Pariwar’s advertisements on 17 March 2013 criticize, condemn, abuse, accuse and denigrate statutory authority like SEBI. They say, 

“The content and intent of these advertisements clearly shows that Sahara India Pariwar and Subrata Roy seem to have little respect for the law of the land and want to create financial anarchy and financial indiscipline by alleging extraneous motives to a statutory body formed for safeguarding the interests of the common investors and for regulating the financial market/securities in the country”.

It may be recalled that Mr Roy through his advertisements had challenged SEBI to an open debate on an issue that had gone through a long legal process and where the group had used every legal forum available to it to file multiple appeals and challenges to stymie SEBI’s investigation. The petitioners point out that Sahara has raised questions related to SEBI's statutory conduct and which significantly is also under consideration before the Supreme Court at this moment. The petitioners highlight what has been the general public reaction the bizarre advertisement—that Sahara does not seem to recognise the difference between a statutory regulator and a private entity/business rival. 

Here is what the Thakurs have said in their petition...

“That while SEBI is a statutory body, the highest regulatory body to control the security market, Justice BN Agarwal, other than being a retired judge, is also working as a friend of the Supreme Court and is assisting the Supreme Court in its work—yet Sahara had launched an unprecedented attack (using words like ‘malicious’, ‘mischievous’ and ‘misleading’) against both in a manner that calls into questions Indai's judicial, legislative and executive structure.”

According to the Thakurs, the advertisement and its allegations, prima-facie appear to come under the purview of Section 186 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860—“Obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions.—Whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions.


That the matter becomes all the more serious because Sahara India Pariwar is not a legal entity, it is not even a registered body corporate and is a completely vaguely used word. Similar is the case with the legal status of Subrata Roy as the chairman and managing worker of Sahara India Pariwar.

The Thakurs have prayed for a complete ban on all advertisements where any constitutional or statutory body is criticized. They have also asked for an enquiry into the issue and necessary subsequent legal actions against Sahara India Pariwar and Subrata Roy.

The petition is expected to be heard on 22nd March before the bench of chief justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice DK Arora.

Earlier, the Registrar of Companies (RoC) sent a notice to Sahara India Real Estate Corporation seeking clarification on the conversion of its bonds into Sahara Q shop bonds, following complaints by three Lucknow-based activists, including the Thakurs. ()

The Supreme Court in August 2012, asked Subrata Roy-led Sahara group to refund Rs17,400 crore collected from investors within three months with 15% interest.  A bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar also directed SEBI to take action against these two companies, if they fail to refund the money, while allowing regulators to attach properties and freeze bank accounts of SIRECL and Sahara Housing Investment Corp (SHICL).



Arun Mehta

4 years ago

Today one more full Ad in a Page 3 format in the national media has appeared in the leading media,converting a purely family(Grand daughter of CEO) social function into a display of his contacts in among politicians and Bureaucrats,perhaps, emphasizing as to how such "noble hearted" person can ever be part of such an alleged major malfeasance

Dayananda Kamath k

4 years ago

sebi is selectively targeting as mentioned in shara ads may be correct because mothoot also used to collect by privatley placed debenture in similar manner i suppose.

Amit Bhargava

4 years ago

SEBI's Investor Hostile Governance should be exposed in every possible way. Be it through Advertisements, or any other means.

This no way means that I am in anyway supporting Sahara, or challenging the Order of the Supreme Court.

SEBI would have done nothing if the Supreme Court of India had not intervened.

At a hearing in the Supreme Court, the same two-judge bench that gave the August verdict asked Sebi, which is seeking a contempt order against the Saharas, to stop pussyfooting around the judgment and implement it in toto.

“We wonder whether Sahara is committing contempt (of court) or you are committing contempt,” the bench observed. “You have done nothing, except issue notices after notices (to Sahara). Who is committing contempt?”


4 years ago

It was refreshing to read the article Sahara issued against SEBI dated 17th March. I believe it was a very transparent approach on Sahara's point to clear the air of negativity surrounding the case.


4 years ago

Sahara may be involved in money laundering but SEBI ( see everything but ignore)is a total disaster never saved the investor wakes up on issues only after the mischief has taken place and in the case of Sahara, SEBI and other financial regulators has maintained silence for over 35 years. as regards the role of courts in disputes less said the better.

Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

Even though SAHARA is targeting SEBI its aim is at Supreme court.Through its act it is challenging federal structure of nation.If SAHARA targets SC directly then he faces CONTEMPT action.To avoid this SEBI is targeted.

Nifty, Sensex may try to bounce back but may be resisted: Wednesday Market Report

If the Nifty stays above 5,720 tomorrow a short rally is likely. A close above 5,745 will mean a continuation of the pull-back. On the downside, the support is at 5,660

The market settled lower as the political logjam in Delhi ignited worries about inflows from foreigners and a slowdown in growth. If the Nifty stays above 5,720 tomorrow a short rally is likely. A close above 5,745 will mean a continuation of the pull-back. On the downside, the support is at 5,660. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 82.86 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 277:1244.
The market opened on a flat note as the political uncertainty at the Centre continued for the second day today. The DMK’s decision to withdraw support to the Congress-led UPA government worried investors about the fate of the economic reforms which are still to see the light of day. Markets across Asia were down in morning trade as the Cypriot Parliament rejected the proposal to tax bank account holders as a condition for bailout. Overnight the US markets ended mixed on the developments in Cyprus.
The Nifty slipped five points to open trade at 5,741 while the Sensex started off at 19,026, up 18 points over its previous close. The benchmarks hit their intraday highs in initial trade itself. The Nifty rose to 5,745 and the Sensex inched up to 19,028 at their respective highs.
However, selling pressure pushed the market lower a short while later. Except for the BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods and BSE Healthcare, all other sectoral indices were in the red.
The market made a couple of half-hearted attempts to emerge into the positive, but selling pressure ensured the indices stay in the red.
A positive opening of the key European markets did not help matters back home as the market continued drifting southwards in post-noon trade.
The benchmarks dropped to their lows in the last hour of trade with the Nifty falling to 5,682 and the Sensex declining to 18,837.
While the market settled off the lows, it was down for the fourth consecutive day. The Nifty declined 52 points (0.90%) to 5,694 and the Sensex dropped 124 points (0.655) to settle at 18,884.
The broader indices were thrashed in today’s market decline as the BSE Mid-cap index dropped 1.90% and the BSE Small-cap index tumbled 2.32%.
The sectoral gainers were BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.67%); BSE IT (up 0.12%); BSE Auto (up 0.07%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.01%). The top losers were BSE Realty (down 4.67%); BSE Power (down 2.65%); BSE PSU (down 2.37%); BSE Bankex (down 2.10%) and BSE Capital Goods (down 2.04%).
Eleven of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The main gainers were Hindustan Unilever (up 3.37%); Tata Motors (up 1.51%); Cipla (up 1.47%); TCS (up 0.78%) and Tata Power (up 0.66%). The key losers were Bharti Airtel (down 4.18%); State Bank of India (down 3.87%); NTPC (down 3.43%); ICICI Bank (down 2.85%) and Hindalco Industries (down 2.80%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—HUL (up 3.37%) and Grasim Industries (up 1.84%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—HDIL (down 19.90%) and Opto Circuits (down 12.59%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Aeonian Investments (up 19.97%) and Bafna Shipping (up 14.29%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Bilcare (down 19.96%) and Pioneer Investcorp (down 19.95%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 15 ended in the green. The key gainers were HUL (up 3.58%); Asian Paints (up 2.19%); Cipla (up 1.86%); Tata Motors (up 1.65%) and Grasim Ind (up 1.26%). The main losers were Reliance Infrastructure (down 8.91%); DLF (down 3.88%); JP Associates, SBI (down 3.85% each) and IDFC (down 3.73%).
The Asian pack witnessed a mixed close as the possibility of a rejection of the bailout package for Cyprus ignited fears about a fresh debt crisis in Europe. On the other hand, a forecast of an expansion in manufacturing activity in China ahead of the release of a flash reading of the HSBC Markit manufacturing index pushed markets in China and Hong Kong.
The Shanghai Composite jumped 2.66%; the Hang Seng surged 0.97%; the Jakarta Composite rose 0.18% and the KLSE Composite gained 0.37%. Among the losers, the Straits Times declined 0.63%; Seoul Composite dropped 0.97% and the Taiwan Weighted lost 0.525.
At the time of writing, the key European indices were up between 0.14% and 0.59%. At the same time, the US stock futures were in the positive, indicating a firm opening for US stocks later in the day.
Back home, foreign institutional investor were net buyers of equities amounting to Rs62.63 crore on Tuesday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks totalling Rs71.38 crore.
Glenmark and Mylan plan to sell generic versions of the drug Malarone, the most successful anti-malarial medication in the UK. With a UK court revoking Glaxo’s patent on the drug, Glenmark Generics was able to launch the first generic version of the drug, Atovaquone proguanil, in the UK in early February. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals declined 1.34% to Rs493.15 on the NSE.
Media company Prime Focus on Wednesday said Hong Kong-based private equity fund AID Partners Capital has invested $10 million in its subsidiary Prime Focus World (PFW). The investment has been made through optionally convertible preference shares of PFW, which are convertible into 4% equity, Prime Focus said in a statement.  The stock fell 0.60 to settle at Rs41.50 on the NSE.
The state-run IDBI Bank has successfully raised $500 million through a five-year bond sale in the international markets at a coupon of 3.75% which is likely to be the cheapest ever for the bank. The stock dropped 2.97% to close at Rs83.20 on the NSE.


Govt to offload 10.82% stake sale in SAIL through OFS route on Friday

The government is banking on disinvestment of SAIL to meet the disinvestment target of Rs24,000 crore in the current fiscal. So far, it has raised over Rs22,300 crore through PSU stake sales

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Disinvestment, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, which met in New Delhi today, cleared a 10.82% stake sale in steel major SAIL. The issue will hit the markets on Friday.


The base price would be made public only after the close of market hours tomorrow.


“SAIL OFS (offer for sale) has been approved by EGoM. The issue will hit market on 22nd March,” disinvestment secretary Ravi Mathur informed the media.


The Department of Disinvestment (DoD) has already held roadshows in Singapore, Hong Kong, US, UK and continental Europe for the proposed SAIL disinvestment. SAIL comes under the administrative control of steel ministry.


The merchant bankers for SAIL share sale include SBI Caps, Kotak Mahindra and Deutsche Bank. Post stake sale, the government's stake would come down to 75%.


For the third quarter ended 31 December 2012, SAIL reported a 23% decline in net profit at Rs 484 crore from the year-ago period mainly due to lower net sales realisation amid subdued market conditions.


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in July last year approved 10.82% disinvestment in SAIL out of government’s 85.82% stake, through the OFS route.


However, the disinvestment plan could not be taken forward amid the dismal market conditions. The government had kept the issue on hold anticipating buoyancy in the market to return.


SAIL shares have not been part of the market rally during 2012. The stock, which touched a 52-week high of Rs115.90 on 17 February 2012, has been losing ground ever since talks of disinvestment began.


The government is banking on disinvestment of SAIL to meet the disinvestment target of Rs24,000 crore in the current fiscal. So far, it has raised over Rs22,300 crore through PSU stake sales.


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