The Supreme Court today directed two group companies of Sahara India Parivar to refund around Rs17,400 crore collected by way of optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) to their investors within three months.
The two companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation – have been asked to refund the money with 15 per cent interest.
A bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar also directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to take action against the companies if they fail to refund the money.
The SC also directed SEBI to verify the details of subscribers to the OFCDs issued by the two Sahara group companies. If the whereabouts of any of the subscribers could not be traced, then the money would go to the central government, the court observed.
In fact, the bench wanted SEBI to further investigate the actual subscriber base of the two companies besides getting other relevant information.
"The Securities Exchange Board of India if, after the verification of the details furnished, is unable to find out the whereabouts of all or any of the subscribers, then the amount collected from such subscribers will be appropriated to the government of India," the judges said in their order.