Truck-Loads of Documents, Number of Investors. A Subterfuge or Truth?
Sahara has 29.6 millions of bond investors to whom it had to pay the money back. You are not expected to be a math-genius to predict what volume of document would be needed to furnish the details of these investors. Sahara had sent 100s of trucks carrying details of investors for SEBI to check. SEBI refused.
SC smelled a rat and directed Sahara to deposit money with regulator and the latter was entrusted with the task of dealing with repayment process. Then Sahara deposited 5,120 with the regulator as first installment.
SEBI couldn’t have been able to repay even 1 crore. Regulator claimed that it was not getting the reply of the letter it sent to investors at the address furnished by group. How it could be possible?
There are two reasons for that:
1) Many of the investors are illiterate.
2) Those who are literate have themselves reinvested the money in other schemes. They don’t have document in order to get the money form the regulator.
Then allegations leveled that there are multiple entries found in the documents such as name Kamla was repeated 100 of times.
If you go to a village, you would find Kamla or Sarla in every other household.
SEBI also claimed that addresses were frivolous.
Sahara works on an sprawling agent network and these agents personally know each and every investor. As an address proof, poor households could only furnish ration-cards. I have myself seen a few ration cards and the addresses that were mentioned were like “Tunga Road, Bassi”, “Haldiyon Ji ke Raste, Jaipur”, “Patli Mod, Sanganer”.
At the addresses like these one could only find a banyan trees or empty plots.
Sahara group, then, came out with a plan to eliminate this impasse. It proposed to help verify the investors by deputing “hundreds of competent workers” to assist the regulator. As expected, SEBI disagreed citing no reason what-so-ever.
The regulator kept reiterating that investors are fake without considering the fact that Sahara had once accomplished the task of returning money to investors under RBI’s scrutiny. How the group could convert all genuine documents and investors into fake one in the matter of 1 year? How could it change its very successful business model?
Questions That Arises.
Why Supreme Court is not asking SEBI to chalk out a plan to refund money to investors?
Why the regulator are not being questioned over why it couldn’t been able to refund money to investors despite every possible effort of Sahara?
What if Sahara pays remaining amount to the regulator?
Money of the investors has either been refunded or reinvested, so who would claim money from SEBI?
If the money remained unclaimed, then it would be transferred to Consolidated Funds of India. Many claims that this money would be used to bridge fiscal deficits.
Meanwhile, Sahara would not only pay 24,000 crore to regulator but also to those investors who have reinvested in its schemes. A handsome amount has been already paid to those who opted out of reinvesting money.
Why such an alacrity to solve this case where there is no evidence that interest of investors have been compromised?
Yes, irregularities were there but not severe enough to send an owner to Tihar Jail and postpone the hearing at last moment.
I welcome the spontaneity shown by apex court to handle this case in order to come to a speedy conclusion.
I welcome the decision of court to punish a man who refused to appear before court because of her ailing 92-year old women. Orders should be respected at any cost.
I just hope these actions not to be restricted to a selected few money-pot cases.
I hope a rape-victim would not have to wait 10 or 12 years to get justice.
I hope a criminal would not breathe fresh-air for a few extra days just because his advocate failed to appear on hearing, reportedly, due to bad health.
I hope number of serious pending cases would abate. Justice will prevail.
Long Live Supreme Court! Long Live Sahara!
(This is author’s personal opinion)