SEBI files contempt petition against Sahara Group

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday filed a contempt petition against the Sahara Group in the Supreme Court for failure to comply with its directions relating to refund of about Rs24,000 crore by its two firms to their investors.

Subrata RoyThe SEBI petition said the two companies, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC), failed to follow the direction of the apex court to furnish within 10 days the information about the investors.

SEBI has sought contempt action against Sahara Group over non-implementation of the court's order directing the two group companies to furnish all documents relating to the bond raising to SEBI as also refund of Rs24,000 crore to the investors.

The Supreme Court had, on 31 August, directed two Sahara group firms - SIRECL and SHICL - to refund the money within three months with 15 per cent interest per annum for violation of norms in raising funds from the public.

The market regulator last week said it planned to hire professional investigating agencies to help it probe the matter and implement the Supreme Court order regarding refund of the money.

The market watchdog had already called on investors to not yield to any pressure from "Saharas or their agents" for switching over their investments in two Sahara companies -- SIRECL and SHICL -- to other group companies.

SEBI had earlier told the Supreme Court that investors had approached it with several complaints accusing the Sahara group firms of coercing them to re-invest the amount invested in the controversial Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCDs) scheme into other schemes floated by the company.