Capital markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Tuesday said it cannot give an exact time period to return the money of the investors who deposited in Sahara's real estate schemes, as it is yet to receive the documents.
"Let the money and documents come. The time to return the money would depend upon the nature of the documents," said Prashant Saran, whole-time member of Sebi, on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of a local office of the regulator here.
According to the Supreme Court order delivered in August, Sahara has to submit all the original documents including payment vouchers, application forms and the approval and allotment of the optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) to Sebi by the end of this month.
Sahara, which on Monday requested Sebi to extend the deadline till the end of January citing the difficulty in sending documents of 29 million investors within a month, has meanwhile started convincing the OFCD subscribers that payments to be made by Sebi would take more time as it involves a lengthy process and hence, the investors should convert their deposits to other schemes which gives better returns.
According to the refund procedure guidelines, Sebi has to verify the address details of each OFCD subscriber and then return the money. However, it is not unclear how long the verification process will take.
"Sebi has always returned the money to investors whenever it has been asked to do so. We can tell about the exact time to return the money after the arrival of necessary documents," said Saran, who is also heading the special cell set up by Sebi to carry out the refund process.
Sahara has been asked by the apex court to refund Rs 24,030 crore to Sebi, collected between 2008 and 2009, along with 15 per cent interest per year within three months for violating guidelines while selling securities of its two real estate firms, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation.