Sahara accuses Sebi of going slow on investor verification

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Rejecting claims of Rs 20,000 crore towards investor refunds, Sahara group today said it has cleared all its liabilities except for about Rs 2,000 crore and accused Sebi of going slow on verifying accounts.

The group also said that Rs 20,000 crore was being demanded from it as "security" because the Supreme Court has said that "after verification of Sebi, if there are partially or fully fictitious accounts then that amount will go to Government account".

"But in the last 17 months, Sebi has not done even 1 per cent verification. It is a great strategy of Sebi and that is why the sword is continuously hanging over us," Sahara claimed.

In a press release issued on a day when group chief Subrata Roy was arrested in Lucknow after evading a non-bailable warrant for two days, Sahara said it has repaid all the liabilities of OFCD except around Rs 2,000 crore.

Sahara has been engaged in a long battle with Sebi with regard to investor refund of more than Rs 24,000 crore, which Sebi found that the group's companies had raised through "various illegalities" by issuing bonds known as OFCDs (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures).

The group further said that Sebi has been given all original payment vouchers, receipts and all other documents containing all details of esteemed investors in more than 100 truck loads.

It said that 20-30 truck load documents were still in a Mumbai godown, but Sebi has refused to receive them.

"These documents are absolute proof of our payments that even a child can see and get convinced. But Sebi will not go through the same and that is Sebi's great strategy against Sahara," it added.

With regard to Rs 5,120 crore deposited with Sebi, the group said that the regulator has disbursed only about Rs one crore in the last 16 months.

Sahara said this shows that there was no payment demand from investors. There would have been "at least one complaint" if there were dues pending, it added.

"Had there been non-payment situation there would have been bloodbaths and suicides," the group claimed.

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