In a last-ditch effort to locate Sahara investors eligible for refunds, regulator Sebi has asked all such persons to submit their claims by next month, while the group claims to have returned the outstanding dues to almost all the concerned bondholders directly.
Those having invested in various bonds issued by two Sahara firms, Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL), have been asked by Sebi to submit their refund applications along with necessary documentary proof by September 30, 2014.
This follows directions from the Supreme Court, which has asked Sebi to facilitate refund to the bondholders of the two companies in connection with a long-running dispute involving raising of funds to the tune of over Rs 24,000 crore from nearly three crore investors across the country.
While Sahara maintained it has already repaid more than 93% of the outstanding dues directly to the concerned bondholders and the remaining amount was just about Rs 2,500 crore, it deposited Rs 5,120 crore to Sebi in December 2012 towards the investor refunds as per Supreme Court orders.
A further amount of Rs 3,117 crore was deposited with Sebi by the group in June this year.
In the meantime, the regulator began a process in May last year of refunding the money to eligible investors from the amount deposited by the group till that time and issued public notices to invite claim applications.
However, the refunds made so far remain minuscule, although the regulator has not so far made public the quantum of such payments.
Taking forward the refund process, Sebi has now issued a new public notice inviting bondholders of the two Sahara firms to submit their refund applications, along with original bond certificates or passbooks, self-attested copies of identity and address proofs, as also bank details for credit of refund amount directly into their accounts.
Sahara group didn't comment on the new refund application process of Sebi.
While seeking applications in a prescribed format, Sebi also said that it would entertain applications for Real Estate, Adobe and Nirmaan Bonds of SIRECL, as also for Multiple, Income and Housing Bonds of SHICL.
"Please note that claims relating to any schemes/bonds other than the ones listed above shall not be entertained and will be returned to the applicant at his/her sole risk and responsibility," the regulator said.