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, “...it 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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