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Sahara gets Big Jolt, while Investors Celebrate

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TNI Bureau: The Supreme Court ordered two of the Sahara Group’s companies to refund Rs 17,400 crore with 15 per cent interest, to more than two crore small investors, who had invested in their optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCD) between 2008 and 2011.  It was  a huge blow to Sahara’s real estate firms, but the verdict brought cheer for the investors.

The apex Court ruled that – Saharas had violated the listing provisions and collected huge amounts from the public in disobedience of law. The bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and K S Khehar asked SEBI to examine the issues relating to genuineness of investors and refund while also giving it the liberty to attach the companies’ properties and freeze their bank accounts, besides other legal actions, if they failed to pay back.

The SEBI had indicted them for raising funds from the public through the OFCD scheme without adhering to prudent disclosure and other investor protection norms governing such public issues.

Earlier in the nineties RBI had slashed the company’s discretionary investment powers. But it soon revived. The next blow came in 2006 when its depository services firm had to be shut down. Again, the group was unperturbed. For the third time in 2008 when the central bank left Sahara India Financial Corporation with no choice but to wind down then also the group managed to overcome it. Reports offer that the chairman is well enough to gain from politicians and Bollywood stars.

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