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Saturday, 1 March 2014

New Delhi: Sahara group yesterday claimed it has cleared all but about Rs 2,000 crore of its liabilities towards bondholders, even as its chief Subrata Roy was arrested today as a fallout of non-refund of over Rs 20,000 crore to investors through market regulator Sebi.

In a statement issued soon after Roy's arrest, the group also accused Sebi of going slow on verifying accounts. The regulator has maintained that the documents provied by the companies were "hopelessly mixed up".

The group also said that Rs 20,000 crore was being demanded from it as "security" because the Supreme Court has said that "after verification of Sebi, if there are partially or fully fictitious accounts then that amount will go to Government account".   "But in the last 17 months, Sebi has not done even 1 per cent verification. It is a great strategy of Sebi and that is why the sword is continuously hanging over us," Sahara claimed.

The group has been engaged in a long battle with Sebi with regard to investor refund of more than Rs 24,000 crore, which Sebi found that the group's companies had raised through "various illegalities" by issuing bonds known as OFCDs (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures).

Sahara, however, said it has repaid all the liabilities of OFCD except around Rs 2,000 crore. it further said that Sebi has been given all original payment vouchers, receipts and all other documents containing all details of esteemed investors in more than 100 truck loads.

It said that 20-30 truck load documents were still in a Mumbai godown, but Sebi has refused to receive them. Sebi has earlier said that the group had failed to submit the documents within a deadline set by the Supreme Court.

With regard to Rs 5,120 crore deposited with Sebi, the group claimed said that the regulator has disbursed only about Rs one crore in the last 16 months.

 While there have been no official word from Sebi about refunds, sources have said that the regulator has been providing regular updates to the court and the documents provided by the companies have been of little help and many of the entries have been made for "ghost" accounts as attempts to trace those investors have turned futile.

Sahara, on the other hand, claimed that there was no payment demand from investors and there would have been "at least one complaint" if there were dues pending.

"Had there been non-payment situation there would have been bloodbaths and suicides," the group claimed.


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