SAT stays Sebi order of winding up Sahara MF

Embattled Sahara Group on Friday said the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has stayed an order from markets regulator Sebi which directed Sahara Mutual Fund to wind up its schemes.

The next hearing will be on April 26, Sahara Group said in a statement.

In an order passed last week, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had asked Sahara Mutual Fund to wind up all its schemes.

All schemes, except one, had to be wound up by April 21. However, the fund house was allowed to continue its 'Sahara Tax Gain Fund' till July 27 but without accepting any new investor. This particular scheme had to be wound up by August 27, as per Sebi's directive.

Following the regulator's order, Sahara Mutual Fund had approached the tribunal.

"Sahara gets a major reprieve today (Friday) when SAT stayed Sebi's April 11, 2018 order directing Sahara Mutual Fund to wind up all schemes except Tax Gain Fund and refund the amount to investor on or before April 21, 2018," the statement noted.

Sahara group has been engaged in a long-running regulatory and legal battle with Sebi ever since it ordered refund of a massive over Rs 24,000 crore by two Sahara entities.

In July 2015, Sebi had cancelled the registration of Sahara MF saying it was no longer "fit and proper" to carry out this business and ordered transfer of its operations to another fund house. It had directed cancellation of Sahara MF's registration on expiry of a six-month period. Earlier, Sebi had also cancelled the portfolio management licence of a Sahara firm.

Following the Sebi order, Sahara MF had approached the tribunal which granted six weeks to the appellants to approach the Supreme Court. Subsequently, Sahara MF had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The appeal was dismissed by the apex court in October 2017. Thereafter, Sebi had instructed Sahara MF to strictly comply with the timelines specified in its July 2015 order.

In a fresh order passed last week, Sebi modified its earlier directive and had asked Sahara MF "to wind up all its schemes (other than Sahara Tax Gain Fund') by April 21, 2018.

"Sahara MF is directed to surrender the certificate of registration to Sebi by August 27, 2018," Sebi had noted.

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