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Sahara offers bank guarantees for Rs 22,500 cr to Sebi

March 04, 2014 18:06 IST

Accused of persistent non-compliance, Sahara group on Tuesday offered Sebi fresh bank guarantees for Rs 22,500 crore (Rs 225 billion) and help in verifying investors including those the group claims to have already refunded.

Sahara said it can "depute hundreds of competent workers" to assist Sebi in collating the documents and other information for verification of documents, a bulk of which it has already submitted and some more it has offered to submit.

They have further contended that if the verification process throws out any investor who is not "genuine" or if there are fictitious accounts, then the group would deposit the amount attributable to such investors to the government of India "in cash through Sebi within a period of 30 days".

This came on a day when Sahara chief Subrata Roy was brought by police to appear before the Supreme Court.

Raising an emotional pitch, the group asked the Supreme Court to accept the offer "in the best interest of Sahara's crores of existing investors and to protect the livelihood of 12 lakhs workers/employees".

Reiterating its earlier stand with regard to direct repayment to a bulk of investors, the group said Sebi has been asking for more money for the last 15 months despite having refunded only about Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) from the Rs 5,120 crore (Rs 51.20 billion) already deposited with the regulator.

"Hence, Sebi has balance amount of approximately Rs 5,619 crore (including interest earned amount)," the proposal said.

Still, it said Saharas propose to furnish bank guarantees for a total sum of Rs 22,500 crore, while the Sebi can immediately proceed with sale of properties whose titles have been already handed over to it by the group.

The step-by-step proposal, consisting of broadly ten points, further said Sebi would have to stop the sale of properties once it gets the bank guarantees and the money collected from such sale would have to returned to Sahara.

Rejecting Sebi's contention that the documents submitted by Saharas were "have been hopelessly mixed up", the group offered to "depute hundreds of competent workers to assist SEBI in collating the documents/information and verification of the documents".

Further, Sebi has been asked to immediately accept all remaining documents lying with Saharas, which it claimed to include "original vouchers, original receipts and all other relevant documents".

The proposal said these documents were "absolute proof" of all payments to all investors in OFCDs (the bonds through which two Sahara firms raised over Rs 24,000 crore that were asked to be refunded), except for am amount of about Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion).

According to the Sahara proposal, acceptance of these documents were very "critical" to ensure implementation of the Supreme Court court orders.

Further, the proposal states that the bank guarantees can be invoked by Sebi only if Sahara fails to deposit the amount (found to be linked to fictitious accounts) within a period of 30 days, or if the group firms fail to repay the existing OFCD investors.

The proposal also seeks withdrawal of all restrictions and attachments imposed on the companies and individuals through various orders passed by Sebi and the Supreme Court.

In cases where Sebi has completed the verification, it has sought reduction of amounts attributable to such investors along with interest paid from the bank guarantee.

It also calls for Sebi to refund the excess amount to Saharas and return the original bank guarantees upon completion of the verification process for fictitious accounts and payments to the outstanding OFCD holders. 

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