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SEBI Handcuffs Sahara

In a detailed 99 page order, KM Abraham of SEBI makes the case for Sahara’s fund raising in 2008 and 2009 to be completely invalid because they sidestepped all necessary rules, and quite maliciously. (HT Ajay Shah)

They have ordered Sahara to repay all such money with 15% interest per annum, with refund notices in newspapers, and only then will Sahara entities be allowed to access the market.

Business Standard thinks the amount is above 4,800 cr. (which is just what was collected as of Jun 2009)

In the biggest refund order in its two-decade history, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) today directed two Sahara group companies to return at least Rs 4,843 crore collected under their debenture schemes to investors. The two companies are Sahara Commodity Services Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation.

The case is in the Supreme Court. SEBI had ordered Sahara to stay put until the investigation was complete, Sahara went to court, the SC told SEBI to get that order done fast.The order won’t be active until the Supreme Court approves it.

I don’t know if Sahara can return the money but it will be tough, especially in the face of "no-further-fund-raising". That is one shady group, though, so anything is possible, but I’ll shed no tears if they’re gone.

K M Abraham retires next month from SEBI and in what seems to be a vindictive act against the Bhave team, the government won’t give them an extension. It will need this government to quit before solid action against the corrupt or criminal will be continued.

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