Non-return on investment: Sahara Group’s retail wing in soup

Published on Jul 11, 2022 12:07 AM IST

City man invested ₹1 lakh in a FDR in Sahara Q Shop Unique Products in 2012, but it wasn’t returned to him on maturity in 2018

The opposition parties were directed to return <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1 lakh invested by a Ludhiana man along with <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10,000 compensation. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The opposition parties were directed to return 1 lakh invested by a Ludhiana man along with 10,000 compensation. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
By, Ludhiana

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Sahara Q Shop Unique Products to return 1 lakh invested by a Ludhiana man along with 10,000 compensation.

Subhash Kumar of Durgapuri, Ludhiana, had submitted his complaint against Sahara Q Shop Unique Products, Aliganj, Lucknow, through its director/managing director (opposite party 1), its Ludhiana city branch through its manager (OP2) and Harish Chander Patel, agent of the company (OP3).

Complaint

Kumar in his complaint said he had invested 1 lakh in a fixed deposit receipt (FDR) dated August 08, 2012, in Sahara Q Shop Unique Shop Plan on being induced by Patel . The FDR with interest matured on August 08, 2018.

The complainant said he then approached the opposite parties and requested them to encash the same, but to no avail. The complainant even served them with a legal notice dated April 25, 2019, but the OPs failed to pay the maturity amount of the FDR.

Accusing the opposite parties of deficient services, the complainant sought the invested amount of the FDR with interest and compensation of 80,000 and litigation expenses of 11,000.

While the complaint against Harish was not admitted, resisted OP1 and OP2 it. The counsel for the opposite parties pleaded that the complainant was not a consumer and the complaint was not maintainable before this commission.

The counsels added that, “Moreover, under the Instructions of Supreme Court of India, Sahara Parivar was directed to deposit a sum of 22,500 crore with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The said amount was duly deposited by the OPs with interest. SEBI has since issued the notice in 154 newspapers during the last eight years calling upon the investors to receive the amount”.

The SEBI, according to the said counsels had disbursed 106.10 crore and thus the complainant was, therefore, supposed to lodge his claim with the SEBI.

Court’ order

However, the commission in its order observed, “It is evident from the certificate that the complainant invested a sum of 1 lakh with the OPs. The investment was to mature on August 8, 2018. No maturity amount is shown to have been mentioned on the certificate nor anything is clear from the document as to what amount of interest the complainant was supposed to be given on the invested amount of 1 lakh.”

The commission pronouncing the order stated, “In our considered view, it would be just and proper if the OPs are directed to pay the amount of 1 lakh along with interest @8% per annum compoundable yearly from August 8, 2012, till date of actual payment along with composite cost of 10,000”.

The commission, dismissing the contention of the counsels for the opposite parties, added that it cannot be said that the complaint was not maintainable under the Consumer Protection Act.

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