The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Sahara conglomerate to refund more than $3 billion it had raised from millions of small investors, reaffirming an order from the SEBI, which had said the process violated rules, in a blow to the powerful group.
The Supreme Court also ordered Sahara to pay 15 percent interest to investors on their deposits, a lawyer on the case said.
Two unlisted group companies of Sahara, which has interests ranging from financial services and housing to media and sports, had between 2008 and 2011 raised a total of Rs 17,700 crore from 22 million small investors through an instrument known as an optionally fully convertible debenture.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) last year ordered the group companies to refund the money, with 15 percent annual interest, after it found that the fund-raising process did not comply with rules.
An appellate tribunal upheld the regulator’s order after hearing Sahara’s appeal.