Sahara: Delhi HC Restrains Societies from Accepting New Deposits, Says Report
Moneylife Digital Team 23 March 2022
While asking the central registrar of multi-state co-operative societies to furnish a report after examination of applications of Sahara group investors claiming that they have not received their money even after maturity, the Delhi High Court (HC) has restrained Sahara group societies from accepting any new deposits, says a report.
 
In the report, Bar & Bench says, "A division bench of acting chief justice Vipin Sanghi and justice Navin Chawla directed the registrar to furnish a report within two weeks after examination of applications of investors claiming that they have not received their money even after maturity."  
 
The HC was dealing with a batch of petitions filed by Sahara India Credit Cooperative Society, Hamara India Credit Cooperative Society, Saharyan Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd, challenging the order of the central registrar restraining them from taking fresh deposits as well as renewing the investment or deposit of existing members.
 
Though the central registrar's order was stayed by the Delhi HC in January last year, hundreds of applications were filed in petitions by the people claiming to be investors in the societies, the report says, adding, the applications alleged that even though their investments have matured, the societies are yet to pay them matured amount. 
 
According to the report, additional solicitor general (ASG) Chetan Sharma told the bench that around seven to ten crore people have invested in these societies, and now thousands of them have approached different fora with complaints that their money is not being paid.
 
"He submitted that more than Rs60,000 crore were taken out from these societies and invested in the Amby Valley Project near Lonavala. It was submitted that an amount of over Rs2,000 crore was also taken out of these societies and deposited with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to secure bail of the group's promoter Subrata Roy," the report says.
 
However, senior counsel SB Upadhyay, representing Sahara group, questioned the genuineness of the applications and complaints, arguing that in terms of the government's orders and the internal mechanism created to deal with them. 
 
"Mr Upadhyay said that the complaints amount to less than 0.006% of the total number of investors and that the societies have paid over Rs20,000 crore to its depositors since January 2021. He referred to a special audit of the societies to the point that the report was in their favour and requested the court to not impose any stay on accepting further deposits because it is one of the ways in which it can pay its investors," the report says.
 
The HC, however, said that the petitioners need to show their bonafides.
 
According to Bar & Bench, though the HC was earlier inclined to order an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the affairs of the society or to appoint a retired judicial member to examine the complaints, it later asked the central registrar to complete the task, considering the infrastructure required. 
 
Earlier this month, the Patna High Court (HC) has directed Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to file its response, in writing on or before 25th March, on the matter pertaining to repayment to Sahara's investors.
 
It also directed that a 'responsible officer' from the market regulator's head office at Mumbai be present in the court on 28th March to answer all the questions posed by it.
 
In December 2021, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that investors of Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) have been paid back Rs138.07 crore, including Rs70.09 crore as principal and Rs67.98 crore as an interest.
 
On 31 August 2012, the Supreme Court of India (SC) handed down a historic verdict asking SIRECL and SHICL to refund Rs19,400.87 crore and Rs6,380.50 crore, respectively, to investors as the funds were illegally raised through quasi-debentures without regulatory clearance. 
 
These two Sahara group companies collected Rs25,781.37 crore from around 30.7 million investors through red herring prospectuses (RHP) on optionally fully convertible debentures dated 13 March 2008 and 16 October 2009 of SIRECL and SHICL, respectively.
 
As of 30 November 2021, the Sahara companies have deposited an aggregate amount of Rs15,485.80 crore against the principal amount Rs25,781.37 crore into the designated 'SEBI-Sahara Refund' account, the minister had said.
 
You may also want to read our coverage on Sahara Issue here.
Comments
kailasa.chandra.padhi
3 months ago
Let there be a customer care number to reply to the customers
kailasa.chandra.padhi
3 months ago
Sahara is troubling the customers in all respects,hence please let the maturity amount be deposited in customer s account,first.and then the court etc.
Yerramsetty
3 months ago
My account diposit is more than 3years above please send me payment details
katkamnaresh467
3 months ago
Sahara india ka paisa kab milega sir
5years ho Gaya abhitak ni plz plz sir
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