The Sahara Group has accused the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) of acting in vengeance, after the capital market regulator failed to acknowledge a vehicle carrying documents of its investors.
Sahara, in a statement on Wednesday, said a truck sent from its headquarters in Lucknow was refused entry by Sebi as it reached after the close of business hours on Septe-mber 10, the deadline imposed by the Supreme Court.
A source at Sebi, however, said the truck was refused entry as Sahara failed to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court and it would strictly follow the directives laid out by the apex court. The Sahara Group has claimed it intimated Sebi about the delay due to bad weather, but the regulator refused to accept the consignment.
The Supreme Court on August 31 directed two Sahara Companies, Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Investment Corp, to furnish all documents pertaining to invest-ors with Sebi, which is given full authority to recover money from Sahara and set up a mechanism for repayment to genuine investors.
Sahara said it had been working overtime to accomplish the challenging task of providing documentation of such a huge number of depositors and accused Sebi of non-corporation.
The company added it had to undergo the mammoth task of photocopying all documents before it could send the original to Sebi for showing to other regulatory authorities. "Sebi is not appreciating that around 300 million of pages need to be photocopied and that is a mammoth task, to be delivered within 10 days from the date of the pronouncement of the order.”
Sahara has dispatched another truck full of records and documents from Luck-now to Mumbai, it said. The Supreme Court has asked Sahara to deposit nearly Rs27,000 crore with Sebi within 90 days.
Sahara's bitterness is evident from its release, which said one of its representatives, who went to deliver a letter detailing the reasons for the delay to Sebi, was not allowed to leave the office premises unless he accepted a letter which the regulator was proposing to address to Sahara.
"Senior Sebi officers went to the extent that they asked the liftman not to let him go down through the lift. It is appalling that a regulatory body could resort to such unethical methods and wrongfully confine our representative. It was only at 7 pm that the representative was permitted to leave the Sebi office," Sahara said.