The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of North 24 Paraganas, has directed Sahara group unit Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd to refund, along with interest, money invested by an investor in the company's scheme. The District Commission also stated that since the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was not related to the investment, the case against the market regulator is dismissed.
In an ex parte order
, the bench of Debasis Mukhopadhyay (president) and Monisha Shaw (member), says, "....are directed to pay the matured value in respect of said scheme...upon production of the original pass book and documents of deposit by the complainant, along with interest thereon at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of maturity till payment of the same within two months from this date, failing which the complainant is at liberty to execute a decree according to law."
On SEBI, the bench stated that the complainant had not sought any relief against the market regulator which is also in no way connected with the complainant's investment. "...therefore it is found that the complainant has no case against SEBI, and the case is liable to be dismissed."
In his complaint, Rajballavpur-based Sri Gobinda Ghosh has said that he was convinced by the representation made by an officer of Sahara Credit Cooperative Society, and he agreed to deposit in Sahara Monthly Scheme. He deposited Rs12,000 in the scheme. However, even after the maturity of the scheme, Sahara Credit Cooperative Society and its concerned officials neglected to refund the maturity amount, despite several demands by the complainant. Mr Ghosh then approached the Consumer Commission.
Sahara Credit Cooperative Society and its regional manager did not contest the case by filing any written statements. SEBI, which was also made a party, filed its reply.
In the reply, the market regulator contended that Mr Ghosh was never a consumer of SEBI and, therefore, the case against it was not maintainable. It is also claimed that the complainant has not sought any relief against SEBI.
SEBI stated that it is processing the refund of the investors who had invested in debentures issued by Sahara India Real Estate Cooperation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Cooperation Ltd (SHICL) in terms of the direction of the Supreme Court.
"Investment in other schemes or group companies of Sahara Group is not covered in the order of the Supreme Court and therefore, no payment can be made by SEBI to the investors of other schemes- group companies," the market regulator added.
The bench accepted SEBI's submission and dismissed the case against it.
It, however, held Sahara Credit Cooperative Society liable to refund money invested by Mr Ghosh along with interest. "Sahara Credit Cooperative Society did not controvert the allegations of the complaint by filing any evidence on oath. The complainant has proved her case by swearing of the affidavit which was not controverted by Sahara Credit Cooperative Society. Therefore, we find that the complainant has proved her case and is entitled to get the decree in his favour against Sahara Credit Cooperative Society," the order issued by the bench says.