Sahara justifies cash refunds

The battle between Subrata Roy-led Sahara Group and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is hotting up with Sahara accusing the markets regulator of being a “rich men’s regulator that does not understand poor investors”.

Replying to SEBI Chairman U K Sinha’s statement on Wednesday regarding the company refunding Rs 20,000 crore to investors, 90 per cent of it in cash, Sahara said in a statement on Thursday that Sinha had not given it a chance to explain its stand.

Sahara and SEBI are locked in legal dispute over the refunding of 24,000 crore by two companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC) — to its investors.

The company claimed that of its total investor base of 3.07 crore, of which a majority are small investors, upto 1.33 crore have invested upto Rs 5,000. Hence, 90 per cent of the repayments had to be made in cash.

According to Sahara, “ is “important to note that we had almost repaid all liabilities three years in advance in SIFCL, a residuary non-banking company (RNBC).”

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