In the high profile Sahara case involving over Rs 24,000 crore raised through "various illegalities", market regulator Sebi has begun the process of refund to individual investors who have been verified by it.
The money is being refunded only in those cases where Sebi has not found any multiplicity during its verification process. Refund for others will have to wait till the next direction from the Supreme Court, which is likely to hear the case on July 17.
The refunds are being made from Rs 5,120 crore (Rs 51.2 billion) that has been deposited by the Sahara group, which claims to have already returned close to Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) to the bondholders of two Sahara firms directly.
This claim of direct refunds, which Sahara says were made before the Supreme Court order of August 31, 2012, is yet to be verified independently, sources said.
Even among the lists of investors submitted by Sahara to Sebi, after being directed by the apex court to do so, the regulator has come across numerous multiplicities and other anomalies, sources said.
There are numerous instances of one investor being named at hundreds of places, while there are also cases of multiple addresses for one single investor and hundreds of investors sharing the same address, sources said.
However, the largest number of anomalies suspected by Sebi involves untraceable addresses and other investor details. Sources said the refunds are being made to the genuine investors whose credentials have been verified, although the number of such cases is so far very small when compared to initial claims of about 3 crore bondholders from whom two Sahara firms had raised over Rs 24,000 crore (Rs 240 billion).
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters