Cleared Rs 33,000-cr OFCD liability, says Sahara

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 02, 2012 07:09 hrs

Sahara India Parivar has said it has "cleared around Rs 33,000-crore liability" towards optionally fully-convertible debentures (OFCD) issued by two of its group firms.

"We started OFCD in these two companies in 2008-09. Most of the money deposited with us was for five to ten years. But, we have now cleared around Rs 33,000-crore liability," the group said on Saturday.

"Sahara has tendered payment of Rs 5,120 crore to the Supreme Court as OFCD outstanding liability," it added.

The statements were part of an advertisement war of sorts launched by the group against the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). In newspaper advertisements, spread across two full pages in national dailies, the group alleged Sebi had given "unnecessary public notices through national media" which had not "served any purpose/interest of investors".(WAR OF ADVERTISEMENTS)

Denying conversion of OFCD money into other group schemes, Sahara termed such statements "childish conclusion".

"It is a childish conclusion and allegation made on the basis of one thousand or two thousand complaints, as Sebi claims, against 30 million investors," the group said.

It asked Sebi to take the truckloads of documents it had sent and begin repaying investors. "We have been requesting Sebi to accept documents – 60 truckloads are lying in our Mumbai godown, awaiting Sebi's acceptance. Unless Sebi has application forms to match the signature and payment vouchers to see who has been paid, how can it make repayments?" the group challenged the regulator, adding: "If Sebi had any interest of payments to small investors, it would have started taking documents. Right from the beginning, everyone has understood that Sebi's only objective is to act against and malign Sahara's image. Why is Sebi doing this?"

It is not clear whether Sebi would accept the statement that Sahara has cleared the Rs 33,000-crore liability to the relevant customer accounts. In a June 2011 order, Sebi whole-time member K M Abraham had presecribed a specific method of repayment to be followed for the refund of OFCDs. He had also asked Sahara to get peer-reviewed auditors to certify this refund.

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