Sahara's point of view on Sebi's Chairman, Mr. U.K. Sinha's recent comment

Countering the allegations made by SEBI Chairman on the OFCDs raised by it, Sahara said in a public notice that the statement made by Mr. Sinha is irresponsible and incorrect. It further said, “Since beginning SEBI's actions have been taken with the agenda to cause harm to Sahara through Media Trial."

Sahara recalled that when it promoted OFCDs for the first time in 2001, it had obtained a written permission for its OFCD issue from the Registrar of Companies (RoC) Kolkata under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs way back in 2001 and under Sec 60B (9) of the Companies Act, submitted prospectus to the same Registrar (filing the return) with the details of around 1.87 crore investors with their names, addresses and amounts raised etc.

Sahara is being accused of violating the rules pubic issue rules on the pretext that the raising of funds from more than 50 investors does not remain a private placement. But the fact is that even after informing of 1.87 crore investors in 2007, neither RoC nor any of the government departments raised any objection. On the contrary, in 2008, Sahara got permission from two RoCs – Kanpur and Mumbai - for raising funds through OFCD again. Moreover, all through these 10 years, various RoCs regularly did inspections, investigation and regularly took Balance Sheets and returns and other documents as per Companies Act. RoCs permitted Sahara and to that extent they were the concerned regulators for the OFCD, Sahara argued.

Recalling the SEBI’s wavering stand, Sahara said the regulator had forwarded a complaint against the Sahara companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited - received in April 2010 to two different Regional Directors of Corporate Affairs Ministry, for appropriate action.

SEBI had even said in its letter to the two Regional Directors, who were concerned with the ROCs which permitted the OFCDs, that the issue did not fall under the market regulator’s purview since the companies were unlisted. (Copy of the letter -

Subsequently, Sahara pointed out, the Minister of State for Finance had informed the Lok Sabha in April 2010 itself on a question relating to CitiCorp’s OFCD issue that in the matters of unlisted companies issuing securities to several thousands of persons, SEBI does not exercise any jurisdiction. This statement was based on what the Executive Director, SEBI informed the Finance Ministry. (Copy of the Question & Answer at Parliament -

In November same year, however, SEBI took a complete U turn and submitted through an affidavit in Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court that SEBI is the regulator for Sahara OFCDs, Sahara said.

Sahara pointed out in its public statement that SEBI should be severely punished for lying in Parliament or in its affidavit in the High Court. Any other citizen would have been jailed for such an act, Sahara said.

Mr. Mohan Parasaran ji, the then Additional Solicitor General of India (now the Solicitor General) had also expressed his opinion on the query raised by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs that Sahara was right and SEBI wrong. He mentioned in his letter, “SEBI has no jurisdiction over the unlisted companies like the Sahara Group of Companies which are not intending to get themselves listed.” (Opinion of Mr. Mohan Prasanan -

Dr. Ashok Nigam, Additional Solicitor General of India, appearing on behalf of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, also submitted through Affidavit in the Court that Sahara was right and SEBI was wrong. He also added, “In issuance of OFCD the petitioner company after their registration with the Registrar of Companies has been permissible under the law. The Central Government remains the regulating authority for the company. It has got its own control system in place which has been under constant review with the developments taking place in the corporate world and it has already increased its controlling aspect of such companies and would further strengthen the same by making keener and deeper scrutiny of private placement of companies”. (Copy of the Affidavit - )

In addition, as many as five other legal luminaries, including two former Chief Justices of India and one ex-Chairman of Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), expressed the opinion in favour of Sahara.

The Law Ministry with the signature of the then Minister Mr Veerappa Moily, officially communicated to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) that Sahara was right and SEBI was wrong. MCA had, in fact, asked for the Law Ministry’s opinion, but they never produced it anywhere. But, somehow, Sahara got the copy and produced it in the court. SEBI has not yet reacted to it in the Court. (Copy of the document - )

Contrary to its view on Sahara, SEBI took an altogether different stand in the Kalpana Bhandari Case before the Bombay High Court that it did not has jurisdiction over unlisted public companies that did not intend to list their shares.

Similarly, in another case ‘Society for Consumers and Investors Protection Vs. Union of India’ in Delhi High Court in, SEBI took a view that it did not command jurisdiction, under Section 55A of the Companies Act, 1956, over unlisted public companies which did not intend to get listed.

Further, in response to the Prayag Infotech Hi-Rise Ltd., letter dated 27th January, 2009, SEBI took a similar stand that unlisted companies did not come under its regulatory purview.

Stating that the company is being singled out for imposing a severe punishment, that too with a retrospective affect, Sahara asked as to why all the government departments are not being penalized. Had they not given repeated permissions Sahara would not have faced such a huge problem and injustice, the statement said and asked: “Is Sahara alone supposed to be solely responsible for the sanctity of law and legal system of the country that everybody should be hell bent upon punishing it with retrospective effect?”

On the current Scenario of its case on OFCD issue, Sahara explained that almost 3 years back it had voluntarily declared through a reputed Charted Accountant Firm that the liability, along with interest, of these two companies was Rs. 24,000 crores.

Sahara, which apprehended public violence across the country, began to refund the deposits much before that Supreme Court judgment of August 31, 2012 and some payments dragged up to September 20, 2012. Thus, Sahara’s liability was reduced to just Rs. 2,610 crores. Sahara also declared the Rs. 2500 crores as buffer amount subject to final verification of amounts. These figures were also certified by the same CA firm that declared the original liability of Rs 24,000 crores.

Following the Supreme Court order, Sahara deposited Rs 5120 crores with SEBI but the regulator is yet to pay to the investors. Is this the SEBI way of protecting the interest of small investors?

Sahara pointed out that SEBI accepted the liability figure of Rs. 24,000 crore as suited them and was not ready to accept the updated figure of Rs 2610 crores. Both the figures have been provided by Sahara itself and they are not come out as a result of any investigation by SEBI or any other body. Moreover, SEBI is supposed to refund about Rs 2000 crore to Sahara after refunding Rs 2610 crore to investors.

“It is important to note that there has been not a single complaint against Sahara. Had the payments not been made, there would have been violence and complaints throughout the country,” Sahara said and pointed out that nothing of this sort has happened.

Sahara said that the future of over 11 lakh workers is at stake and all that the company wants is justice.

For details the following link can also be consulted -

Sahara India Pariwar picks Lucknow Franchisee of “Indian Badminton League”

Lucknow, July 16, 2013: Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate and the prime promoter & patron of sports in India, has created another milestone today by announcing to become one of the prime franchisee of the ‘Indian Badminton League’ (IBL), which is to be started by Badminton Association of India (BAI). The Indian Badminton League (IBL) will comprise of 6 teams which will play amongst each other. This will have Indian as well as foreign players. Sahara India Pariwar, will be the owner of the Lucknow franchise. Moreover, by taking up this franchisee, Sahara India Pariwar intends to encourage young talents of this great game of skill and energy, thereby giving them a platform to nurture their skills under the supervision of talented sportsmen.

Speaking on the occasion, ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said “We are proud to associate with this initiative of Badminton Association of India. Indian Badminton League will boost the sports of Badminton and will redraw the attention of people towards it. I am sure that sure that the league will also help in identifying fresh talent and will give a platform of international standard for grooming and competing, eventually bringing laurels to our beloved nation.” 

Shri Akhilesh Das, president, Badminton Association of India, said, “I am grateful to ‘Saharasri’ and Sahara India Pariwar, for coming forward in support of Badminton. The Group has always accorded priority to various forms of sports and I hope this will encourage other corporates to come forward in support of the game of Badminton.”

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Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara receives Honorary Doctorate of Business from University of East London

University of East London has 28000 students

London, July 09, 2013: In a special ceremony of the University of East London on Sunday, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in central London, before an audience consisting of University of East London (UEL) staff, governors and students; and a number of distinguished guests from industry, political life and sport along with members of Sahara family, Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, has being conferred with the award of Doctor of Business honoris causa.

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford said in his citation that, "Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara is a man who has made an absolutely immense contribution to the world of business, to sport, to the enhancement of education and to social and community development, to his country as well as other parts of the world, and to an abundance of philanthropic activities that are simply too numerous to mention."

Lord Gulam Noon, Chancellor of the University of East London conferred the award upon Saharasri saying; "That the event was a unique occasion. It is unique because this is the first degree that I am awarding any student in my new role as Chancellor of this university. It is unique because the award of this honorary doctorate is being given to a unique student - a student of life.”

He further said, “Subrata Roy Sahara, as one businessman to another - I am impressed with your contribution to the world of business.  As one philanthropist to another I am more than impressed with your immense contribution to our fellow human beings who are less fortunate than us.”

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Sahara India Pariwar continues its incessant relief work in Uttarakhand

Today additional relief material dispatched to the Guptkashi and Laksar for more than 20,000 people

·         Till now over 5000 people of remote areas have benefited from free medical aid by Sahara  

·         Ready to eat food packets, safe drinking water, solar lanterns, blankets, bleaching powder and chlorine tablets are being provided free of cost  

Lucknow, July 1, 2013: Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate of India as a part of its continues endeavors to provide relief to the flood victims of Uttrakhand has so far extended free medical aid to more than 5000 people residing in remote and flood affected areas of Uttarakhand. The medical aid has also been provided to the aggrieved pilgrims who have been stuck up in the region. Today relief materials for more than 20,000 people have been dispatched to the Guptkashi and Laksar. Sahara is providing ready to eat food packets, safe drinking water, solar lanterns, blankets, bleaching powder and chlorine tablets free of cost, under its relief measures.    
The region, particularly of Uttarkashi and Tehri which has been badly devastated due to massive flood which triggered the landslides have been accessed by the doctors and the Medical Health Unit (MHU) vans of Sahara India Pariwar. 25 medical health unit vans equipped with doctors, pharmacists, free medicines and basic testing equipments have been able to make their way to the remotest parts of the region despite of bad or almost no road connectivity and damaged bridges. Health experts of Sahara India Pariwar treated over 5000 patients most of whom were suffering from Gastrointestinal Tract (GI tract), Skin Diseases, Cold & Cough, Fever, etc.     

Sahara is working in close coordination with State Disaster Mitigation Management Centre and extending its support continuously to the flood affected areas. In addition to the continuing relief support from Sahara, Mr. Ashok Roy Choudhury, Executive Director and Mrs. Kumkum Roy Choudhury, Executive Director, Sahara India Pariwar have also offered all other possible assistance to Mr. Surendra Singh Negi, Health Minister of Uttarakhand. Sahara is also providing more than 20 tons of the bleaching powders and chlorine tablets to the district administration.  

For the rehabilitation of the local populace Sahara has already announced to construct 10,000 pre-fabricated houses based on latest technology (which will be better in every aspect as compared to conventional houses build in hills), under rehabilitation programme. The pre-fabricated houses will be built at places as allotted by local administration. Besides, Sahara will also provide complete food and household items every month to 10,000 families for months and years, depending upon the need of these poor families. 

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