The newspapers say, it is a high profile case. Tell me, can a case be considered of high importance only because some money has been raised, based on the recommendations of a lead banker/consultant?
The final expenses bill of the Sebi in this high-profile case could be much higher, as just two contracts ~ for storage and scanning of investor documents and for providing a platform to facilitate redemption related services ~ have cost it Rs 55.85 crore.
The Sebi is verifying the credentials of more than three crore investors for the refund as per a direction from the Supreme Court, which has also ruled that Saharas would have to pay all the expenses borne by the regulator in this matter.
The Sebi has contracted Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) for the work relating to storage, digitisation and scanning of investor documents and for creation of a database, a senior official said, while adding that this contract is worth Rs 25.97 crore.
Besides, another contract of Rs 29.88 crore was given to UTI Infrastructure Technology & Services for redemption related activities in this case, he said.
The Supreme Court has also appointed a retired judge to oversee the matter for a monthly remuneration of Rs 5 lakh in addition to travelling, accommodation and other expenses, all of which are borne by the Sebi and recoverable from Saharas.
All the administrative expenses, including payments to the additional staff and experts, would also be borne by Saharas.
While detailed queries sent by PTI to Sahara remained unanswered, sources said that it has already received some expense bills from the Sebi. It, however, could not be ascertained whether Saharas have made any payments towards these expenses.
Sahara Group claims that it has already repaid a vast majority of the investors and its total outstanding liability towards the bondholders is much less at Rs 5,120 crore.
After Sahara firms were told by the Supreme Court to hand over the investor documents to the Sebi, the group sent 128 trucks with more than 31,000 cartons of papers to the regulatory authority's headquarters in Mumbai.
Finding it impossible to store them at any of its offices, the Sebi decided to keep them at a warehouse of SHCIL Projects Ltd, a subsidiary of SHCIL.
The Navi Mumbai warehouse, having 32 lakh cubit feet of storage capacity, has automatic robotic systems for handing of documents and their storage in safe vaults.
In its order dated 31 August 2012, the Supreme Court had allowed the Sebi to engage investigators, other experts and supporting staff for the investor verification and refund processes. The court had also ruled that all these expenses would be borne by Saharas and be paid to the Sebi.
Courtesy: The Statesman