Thursday, March 6, 2014

Copy of PIL regarding Sahara Credit Cooperative Society

Order of High Court in PIL regarding Sahara Credit Cooperative Society-----






HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

?Court No. - 2
Case :- MISC. BENCH No. - 2008 of 2014
Petitioner :- Amitabh Thakur & Another [P.I.L.]
Respondent :- Union Of India Thr.Secy.Agriculture & Cooperation Deptt.&Ors
Counsel for Petitioner :- Amitabh Thakur (Inperson),Dr.Nutan Thakur (Inperson
Counsel for Respondent :- A.S.G.
Hon'ble Imtiyaz Murtaza,J.
Hon'ble Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya,J.

Heard Sri Amitabh Thakur, petitioner no.1 and Dr. Nutan Thakur, petitioner no.2 in person.
After hearing the arguments at some length, when the Court required the petitioner no.1 to answer certain queries on the issue as to how does he substantiate his submission that the schemes quoted in annexure no.1 to the writ petition are being run by respondent no.6, Sri Amitabh Thakur submitted that the perspective of the Court, vis-a-vis annexure no.1 and the schemes quoted therein, are different than his perspective.
On the aforesaid submission made, the Court specifically told Sri. Amitabh Thakur, petitioner no.1 that he is arguing the matter before a Court of law and that the Court is not supposed to enter into or entertain any kind of debate and further that when a person approaches the Court he has to substantiate his assertions and arguments. At this observation of the Court, Sri. Amitabh Thakur appeared dissatisfied and stated that he did not want to argue this matter any further.
Thereafter, when the Court required the petitioner no.2 to answer the queries, she also submitted that once the petitioner no.1 does not intend to argue the case before the Court, she also does not intend to do so.
In these circumstances, the Court is left with no option but to dismiss the petition.
Thus, the writ petition is hereby dismissed.
After passing the order, Sri. Amitabh Thakur, petitioner no.1 further submitted that what he intended to convey to the Court was that he did not want to argue the matter before this particular Bench.
We may, at this juncture, only state that Benches in the High Court exercise their jurisdiction as per roster assigned by Hon'ble the Chief Justice. The instant petition has been filed in the shape of Public Interest Litigation. As per roster determined by the Hon'ble Chief Justice, this Bench has been assigned the said jurisdiction. Further, no person who is a party to a proceeding before this Court can be permitted to argue cases before a Bench of his choice.
Accordingly, the aforesaid submission made by Sri. Amitabh Thakur, petitioner no.1 is hereby rejected.
Order Date :- 10.3.2014/Shahnaz
 






In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No-               of 2014 (PIL-Civil)
Amitabh Thakur and another                                                 Petitioners
Versus
Union of India and others                                                         Respondents

INDEX
S No
Description of documents relied upon

Page No


From
To
1.
List of Dates and Events (separate)
Separate

2.
Memo of Writ Petition


3.
Annexure No 1
Scheme Chart of Sahara India Parivar


4.
Annexure No 2
Complanit by Sri Sanjay Parmar as regards Sahara Credit Cooperative society


5.
Annexure No 3
Complaint sent by petitioners to various authorities


6.
Photo Identity of the petitioner


7.
Affidavit




 Lucknow                                                 (Amitabh Thakur)(Dr Nutan Thakur)
Dated-      06/03/2014                                                  Petitioners in Person                                                                                                      # 94155-34526



In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No-               of 2014 (PIL-Civil)
Amitabh Thakur and another                                                 Petitioners
Versus
Union of India and others                                                         Respondents

                             LIST OF DATES AND EVENTS

S No               Date                                                   Event                       
1.     2010                                                       Sahara Credit cooperative society
                                                                  begins its operations
2.     02/01/2014                                        Complaint sent by petitioners

The various acts of Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited, a part of larger family Sahara India Parivar, particularly as regards alleged collection of public money in the garb of cooperative activity are being said to be of a nature that raises many unanswered questions and prima-facie seem to be jeopardizing the interests of common and simple investors who are allegedly investing their money in various schemes of Sahara Credit Society, understanding that it is an investment while Sahara India Parivar has allegedly kept it on paper as a Multi State cooperative society, whereby it apparently seems not to fall in the purview of many of the legal provisions promulgated for investor safety. The matter involves millions of investors whose interest needs to be saved immediately through the intervention of this Hon’ble Court.

Hence this Writ Petition.       
         
Lucknow                                                 (Amitabh Thakur)(Dr Nutan Thakur)
Dated-      06/03/2014                                                  Petitioners in Person                                                                                                      # 94155-34526



In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No-               of 2014 (PIL-Civil)








1.     Amitabh Thakur, aged about 45 years, s/o Sri T N Thakur r/o 5/426, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
2.     Dr Nutan Thakur, aged about 40 years, w/o Sri Amitabh Thakur r/o 5/426, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow--------                                                                                                                      Petitioners
Versus
1.     Union of India through Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi
2.     Reserve Bank of India through Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai
3.     Securities and Exchange Board of India through its Chairman, 'G' Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East),  Mumbai 400051
4.     Central Registrar, Multi State Cooperative Societies, Government of India, c/o Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi
5.     Sahara India Parivar, Sahara India Center, 2, Kapoorthala Comlex, Aliganj, Lucknow
6.     Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited, Sahara India Complex, 1, Kapoorthala Complex, Aliganj, Lucknow
                                                                                    ------- Respondents
Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India
To,
The Hon’ble Chief Justice and His other Hon’ble companion Judges of the aforesaid Court:
The humble petition of the above named petitioner most respectfully begs to submit as under:
1.     That by means of this petition, the petitioners are invoking the extra ordinary jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court vested with it through Article 226 of the Constitution to file this Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with a prayer to kindly issue a writ of mandamus to the concerned Respondents to enquire into the complaints/issues raised as regards Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited, (Sahara Credit, for short) and take all necessary action to ensure the complete compliance of the various legal mandates prescribed for collection of public money in the Companies Act 1956, the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act 2002 (SEBI Act, for short), the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 (Societies Act, for short), section 22A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 and the various other related Acts, Rules, Regulations and Guidelines etc, so as to safeguard the interests of millions of investors having invested their money in Sahara Credit without actually knowing the legal infirmities associated with their investment and to take legal actions against Respondent No 5, Sahara India Parivar and respondent No 6, Sahara Credit, if found guilty on any count as per the enquiry done by the respondents, within a period of say, three months.
The petitioners declare that they have not filed any other Writ petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court and this Hon’ble Court either at Allahabad or its Lucknow bench pertaining to the subject matter and/ or for the relief prayed for in the instant writ petition. The petitioners have filed a Writ Petition No 7955 of 2013 (M/B) (Amitabh Thakur & Another vs Securities & Exchange Board Of India and others) which is as regards alleged misdemeanor and irregularities in Sahara Q shop scheme which is under active consideration of this Hon’ble Court. It is further declared that in respect of the same subject, no caveat notice has been received by the petitioners. They also declare that to the best of their knowledge and their search, there is no pronouncement as regards the prayer being presented through this Writ Petition either by the Hon’ble Supreme Court or this Hon’ble Court
2.     That this is a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) being filed for safeguarding the interests of millions of investors who have invested their hard-earned money in various schemes related with Sahara Credit, respondent No 6, where prima-facie there seems to be violations of various provisions of law as enumerated above. 
3.     That this being a PIL, in pursuance of Rule 1, subrule (3A) of Chapter XXII of the Allahabad High Court Rules 1952 the petitioner finds it relevant to present some facts regarding their own credibility. The petitioner No 1, Amitabh Thakur is an IPS officer also engaged in various social causes including the cause of transparency and accountability in public life, including the Right to Information. He is filing this PIL purely in his personal capacity. He is a government servant but at the same time a responsible citizen of India and he files this PIL owing his duty as an individual towards the public.  To the best of his knowledge and reading of the conduct rules applicable to him as an IPS officer, he understands that he does not violate any of these rules but is only presenting a PIL where the intervention of this Hon’ble Court would lead to much public benefit.  Though not exactly required as per the Conduct rules, he is also presenting the information as regards filing of this PIL to his superior officers, for the sake of transparency. Petitioner No 2, Dr Nutan Thakur, is wife of petitioner No 1 and is a well-known and nationally recognized social activist who wants to genuinely and positively contribute to the society in all possible ways. She works primarily in the field of transparency and accountability in governance, Human Rights and assisting in the enforcement of Rule of law. The petitioners have nothing against them so as to mar their credibility in filing this PIL. 
The matter being presented here is for safeguarding the interests of millions of investors having invested in various schemes related with Sahara Credit.  
In pursuance of the above Rule, the petitioners state on oath that the public cause they are seeking to espouse through this Writ Petition is as regards safeguarding the interests of investors and ensuring compliance of the rules in this regards. The petitioners again put it on oath that they are not filing this PIL for any ulterior motive save the stated one nor have they received a single penny through any backdoor activity while filing this PIL. They state on oath that they has no personal or private interest in the matter and as far as they knows there is no authoritative pronouncement by the Hon’ble Supreme Court or this Hon’ble High Court on the specific questions raised here.  They put it on oath that the result of the Litigation will not lead to any undue gain to them or anyone associated with them or any undue loss to any person, body of persons or to the State but would result in better governance.
4.     That coming to the matter of the PIL, many facts related to the alleged impropriety of Sahara India Parivar and its various subsidiaries/group companies came to the notice of the petitioners through various sources
5.     That Sahara India Pariwar is an Indian business conglomerate headquartered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh with business interests in finance, infrastructure & housing, media & entertainment, consumer merchandise retail venture, manufacturing and information technology. Not much is clearly known about the legal status of Sahara India Parivar nor are exact information available about this so-called Sahara India Parivar or Sahara group but it has been widely accepted that it is a business group/business house with its headquarters at Kapoorthala, Lucknow and its business spread through various entities all over the world.
6.     That among other things, finance has always been the mainstay and primary business of the Sahara India group, where it has been floating various investment schemes at various points of time.
7.     That Sahara India group has been embroiled in controversies as regards its investment schemes though the major controversy that came in public was as regards Sahara India Real Estate Company (SIREC, for short) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL, for short) which had issued what they called Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (for short 'OFCDs')
8.     That both these companies decided to raise funds through unsecured OFCDs allegedly by way of private placement to friends, associates, group companies, workers/employees and other individuals associated/affiliated or connected in any manner with Sahara Group of Companies without giving any advertisement to general public, where they had specifically indicated that they did not intend to get their securities listed on any recognized stock exchange.  The matter came before Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI, for short). SEBI started pursuing the matter, issuing show cause to the two companies of Sahara India that these OFCDs should have been listed on any recognized stock exchange in India, being Public Issue under Section 73 read with Section 60B and allied provisions of the Companies Act, so that they seemed to have violated the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000 [for short 'DIP Guidelines'] and Regulations 4(2), 5(1), 6, 7, 16(1), 20(1), 25, 26, 36, 37, 46 and 57of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009 [for short 'ICDR 2009']. The basic issue that was raised was whether these OFCDs issued are securities under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 [for short 'SCR Act']. The two companies presented their detailed replies and SEBI passed its final order through its whole-time member (WTM) on 23/06/2011, which came to the conclusion that OFCDs issued would come within the definition of “securities” as defined under Section 2(h) of SCR Act. SEBI also found that the OFCDs issued, by definition, design and characteristics intrinsically and essentially, were debentures and the Saharas had designed the OFCDs to invite subscription from the public at large through their agents, private offices and information memorandum. SEBI concluded that OFCDs issued were in fact public issues and the Saharas were bound to comply with Section 73 of the Companies Act, in compliance with the parameters provided by the first proviso to Section 67(3) of the Companies Act. SEBI took the view that OFCDs issued by Saharas should have been listed on a recognized stock exchange and ought to have followed the disclosure requirement and other investors' protection norms. Thus SEBI found that the Saharas had contravened the provisions of Sections 56, 73, 117A, 117B and 117C of the Companies Act and also various clauses of DIP Guidelines. SEBI also held that SHICL had not complied with the provisions of Regulations 4(2), 5(1), 5(7), 6, 7, 16(1), 20(1), 25, 26, 36, 37, 46 and 57 of ICDR Regulations. Having found so, SEBI directed Saharas to refund the money collected under the Prospectus dated 13/03/2008 and 06/10/2009 to all such investors who had subscribed to their OFCDs, with interest.
9.     That aggrieved by the above mentioned order of SEBI, the two companies filed Appeal Nos. 131 of 2011 and 132 of 2011 before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (Tribunal, for short) and the Tribunal passed a common order on 18/10/2011 where it again took a view very similar to that of SEBI
10.                        That aggrieved by the said order, SIRECL filed Civil Appeal No. 9813 of 2011 and SHICL filed Civil Appeal No. 9833 of 2011 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which through its order dated 31/08/2012 generally upheld most of the findings of the orders of SEBI and the Tribunal.
11.                       That the prime focus of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the above case was that on investor safety and investor security, where its order implied that any kind of public collection, in any format, by whatever name shall come under the purview of securities as defined in SCR Act and shall be duly regulated by various provisions of the Companies Act, SEBI Act and other rules and regulations. It said-“The Companies Act 1956 in India was enacted with the object to protect the interests of a large number of shareholders, safeguard the interests of the creditors to attain the ultimate ends of social and economic policy of the Government” and that-“Parliament has also enacted the SEBI Act to provide for the establishment of a Board to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market. SEBI was established in the year 1988 to promote orderly and healthy growth of the securities market and for investors' protection. SEBI Act, Rules and Regulations also oblige the public companies to provide high degree of protection to the investor’s rights and interests through adequate, accurate and authentic information and disclosure of information on a continuous basis.”
12.                       That after this order, the petitioners came in possession of a matter related with Sahara Q Shop of Sahara India about which they were told that irregularities are being done in the entire process of collecting money through Sahara Q shop schemes. They were told that after the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to return back the money collected by SIREC and SHICL, Sahara India Parivar started asking a very large number of its investors in these two companies to get their money converted to Sahara Q Shop scheme which was a new project of Sahara India. As per the company website, Sahara Q Shop is a venture of Sahara India Pariwar, which is  offering completely adulteration-free, 100% quality consumer merchandise products in 73 categories, such as staples, processed foods, personal care products, home care products, general merchandise and lifestyle products, at most competitive prices. The issues of concern related with Sahara Q shop were two fold. The first was as regards forcing the investors in SIREC and SHICL to get their money invested in Sahara Q shop scheme. The second was that Sahara Q shop called itself an investment scheme where a person would be getting the alleged LBP (Loyalty Bonus Point) redemption value after a period of 6 years so that a sum of Rs. 1000 will have a LBP redemption value of Rs. 2354, on document Sahara Q shop bonds/advances have been said to be Advance for Q Shop Goods Plan H. Thus these Sahara Q shop advance/bonds are being sold in a completely different manner, presenting entirely different facts to the investors vis-a-vis what has been said on the “General Terms and Conditions”.
13.                       That the petitioners sent many complaints to SEBI and other authorities against Sahara Q shop schemes and when no appropriate action was not taken by the concerned authorities, they filed the Writ Petition No 7955 of 2013 (M/B) (Amitabh Thakur & Another vs Securities & Exchange Board Of India & Others) where they prayed to order enquiry into Sahara Q shop bonds and this Hon’ble Court through its order dated  09/09/2013 ordered-“ Sri Asit Chaturvedi has accepted notice on behalf of O.P. No.2 and 3. Learned CSC has accepted notice on behalf of O.P. No.4. Let notice be issued to O.P. No.1 and 5 returnable by 8.10.2013. List on 8.10.2013. In the meantime, Sri Asit Chaturvedi shall receive instructions. His name be printed in the cause list as counsel for Union of India” and through its order dated 08/10/2013 said-“Sri Piyush Kumar Agarwal, Advocate appears for opposite party no. 5 and Sri Mohd. Altaf Mansoor appears for opposite party no. 1. Learned Standing counsel accepted notice on behalf of opposite party no. 4. Petitioner (in person) submits that opposite party no. 1 has concealed the material with regard to proceeding taken before Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in pursuance to representation submitted by petitioner. Let counter affidavit be filed within two weeks. Rejoinder affidavit may be filed within a week thereafter. List immediately after three weeks”. This Writ Petition is presently under consideration before this Hon’ble Court.
14.                       That very similar to Sahara Q shop project, where one thing is allegedly being said on documents and another being told orally/verbally to the investors, so that while on record the scheme is being presented as an advance to buy products from Sahara Q shops, in reality and in practical terms, Sahara Q shop is being treated as a new investment scheme of Sahara India Parivar, another such scheme of the Sahara India Parivar which is being presumably undertaken through a legal entity called the Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited (Sahara Credit, for short).
15.                       That thus Sahara India Parivar is now collecting public money through this Sahara Credit, which has schemes like Sahara E shine which is allegedly a 8 year deposit/money collection scheme at 12% rate of return and Sahara A select which is a one year deposit scheme at 10% rate of interest, a daily scheme called Sahara Minor which is a one year deposit scheme where one can deposit as less amount as Rs. 10 to 20 per day with an interest return and a returning scheme called Sahara M Benefit which is a monthly recurring scheme with 8% interest rate and money returned after 5 years. There is also Sahara U Golden of 15 year period with rate of return of 13%. A scheme chart and other  evidence in this regards is being attached as Annexure No 1.
16.                       That when a person invests his money in one of these schemes, he has to take a membership with a membership fee of Rs. 5, which is said to be needed to become a member of the cooperative society, and Sahara says that they are taking deposit only from the members for the development of the credit society. But on the other hand, all the depositors are told that this is an investment in Sahara India Parivar because Sahara credit is a part of Sahara group.
17.                       That thus this project is again having two facets at the same time, so that on paper and on record, Sahara Credit is a credit cooperative society while in reality, it is being presented as a financial institution for collection of public money and for investors to invest their money. Thus, there is a clear and substantive difference being the de-facto and the de-jure status of Sahara Credit and what has already happened in cases of SHICL and SIREC and what the petitioners feel is being done in Sahara Q shop, forces the petitioners to move before this Hon’ble Court so that corrective measures are taken before it is too late and a situation akin to what is presently happening in case of SHICL and SIREC does not recur in case of Sahara Credit as well.
18.                       That before proceeding further, the petitioners make it clear that they have no personal investment in these above-mentioned schemes except Rs. 1000 each they had in Sahara Q shop which Sahara India returned back on their own. Hence whatever efforts are being undertaken by the petitioners is solely for public interest and nothing else because they hugely fear some kind of security scam in making in Sahara Q shop and Sahara Credit and if remedial and corrective measures are not taken in time, it might be too late on a later occasion and all the rigour that the Hon’ble Apex Court is presenting undertaking in the cases of SHICL and SIREC might have to be done again in case of Sahara Q shop and Sahara Credit. Since Sahara Q Shop matter is under consideration before this Hon’ble Court where Sahara India and/or Sahara Q shop have not so far filed their response, despite clear instructions some six months back, hence the petitioners do not find it appropriate to mention further about it in this PIL but the matter of Sahara Credit remains untouched before this Hon’ble Court and it being no less serious, as far as investor concern and investor security is concerned, the petitioners find it their moral responsibility to bring the matter before this Hon’ble Court to take cognizance of the matter and direct all such actions which are needed in this present case.
19.                       That as a backgrounder, the term co-operation is derived from the Latin word co-operari, where the word co means ‘with’ and operari means ‘to work’. Thus, co-operation means working together. So those who want to work together with some common economic objective can form a society which is termed as “co-operative society”. It is a voluntary association of persons who work together to promote their economic interest. It works on the principle of self-help as well as mutual help. The main objective is to provide support to the members. Nobody joins a cooperative society to earn profit. People come forward as a group, pool their individual resources, utilise them in the best possible manner, and derive some common benefit out of it
20.                       That the important kind of cooperative societies include the Consumers’ Co-operative Society, Producers’ Co-operative Society, Co-operative Marketing Society, Co-operative Credit Society, Co-operative Farming Society and Housing Co-operative Society.
21.                       That Co-operative Credit Society are formed to provide financial support to the members. The society accepts deposits from members and grants them loans at reasonable rates of interest in times of need. Village Service Co-operative Society and Urban Cooperative Banks are examples of co-operative credit societies
22.                       That a co-operative society is a special type of business organisation different from other forms of organsation. Its characteristics include- i. Open membership ii. Voluntary Association iii. State control iv. Sources of Finance v. Democratic Management: vi. Service motive vii. Separate Legal Entity viii. Distribution of Surplus ix. Self-help through mutual cooperation
23.                       That while these are the theoretical aspects of a cooperative society, unfortunately not every cooperative society actually works in tandem with the theory.
24.                       That theoretically Sahara Credit is a Multi State cooperative society registered per the information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Sahara Credit Cooperative society with registration No UP-35 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 (Societies Act), which is an Act which is an act to consolidate and amend the law relating to cooperative societies, with objects not confined to one State and serving the interests of members in more than one State, to facilitate the voluntary formation and democratic functioning of cooperatives as people’s institutions based on self-help and mutual aid and to enable them to promote their economic and social betterment and to provide functional autonomy and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
25.                       That the Lucknow-based Sahara Credit has its headquarters and registered office in Sahara India Bhawan, Lucknow, where most Sahara group entities are based. In an emailed response, Sahara group spokesperson Sri Abhijit Sarkar had said to Business Standard newspaper-"The cooperative has been developed by around 3,800 workers of the company. Our managing worker and three deputy managing workers are not members of the cooperative, which is running some schemes towards financial inclusion of un-bankable people in rural and semi-urban areas who do not go to the bank or are visited by the bank."
26.                       That as per Business Standard newspaper-“According to two people involved in the operations of the group, the application forms for these new schemes are being circulated and the money raised, beginning last week, will be accounted under the new schemes. These schemes surfaced after the Allahabad high court restricted Sahara from raising money on April 7. An Uttar Pradesh-based agent said a meeting was called at Sahara's district offices today to explain the features of these schemes and the procedures to be followed. Existing investors would continue in the old schemes, he added. According to soft copies of the application forms reviewed by Business Standard, the new schemes are mirror images of the optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) issued by the two Sahara entities banned by the capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).”
27.                       That as per this news paper-“Sahara. A. Select is a four-year scheme which promises a return of "more than 141 per cent of the principal amount in four years." Premature withdrawals are allowed at the end of 24 months, according to the application forms. This is similar to the Nirman bonds banned by Sebi. Sahara.E.Shine is an eight-year scheme which promises a return of "more than 226 per cent of the principal". This corresponds to the Abode bonds. Sahara.U.golden is a 15-year scheme offering a return of five times the principal. All these schemes offer a loan against deposit facility and child welfare plans. Under the latter, the children of the deposit-holders are offered "brilliancy" certificates. In addition, the society offers three other schemes, namely Sahara.M.Benefit, a five-year recurring deposit scheme, Sahara S Bhavishya, a 15-year recurring deposit scheme, and Sahara K Money, a 10-year plan with monthly interest payments.
28.                       That as per Business Standard-“ These would enable Sahara to continue its recurring deposits, banned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). "At the consumer end, there will be minimum changes. Even old account numbers will continue. The agents have been asked to get a membership form (for the cooperative) signed by the investors," said the agent.
29.                       That coming to the legal facets, as per Societies Act- Central Registrar” means the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies appointed under sub-section (1) of section 4 and includes any officer empowered to exercise the powers of the Central Registrar under sub-section (2) of that section; “cooperative society” means a society registered or deemed to be registered under any law relating to cooperative societies for the time being in force in any State and “multi-state cooperative society with limited liability” means a society having the liability of its members limited by its bye-laws to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares, respectively, held by them or to such amount as they may, respectively, thereby undertake to contribute to the assets of the society, in the event of its being wound up
30.                       That section 33 of Societies Act prescribes restriction on holding of shares while section 34 is as regards restriction on transfer of shares or interest. Section 78 of Societies Act is as regards enquiry by Central Registrar where sub-section(1) says-“The Central Registrar may, on a request from a federal cooperative to which a multi-state cooperative society is affiliated or a creditor or not less than one-third of the members of the board or not less than one-fifth of the total number of members of a multi-state cooperative society hold an inquiry or direct some person authorised by him by order in writing in this behalf to hold an inquiry into the constitution, working and financial condition of a multi-state cooperative society: Provided that no inquiry under this sub-section shall be held unless a notice of not less than fifteen days has been given to the multistate cooperative society.
31.                       That thus theoretically, legally and technically a cooperative society operating in many States simultaneously is regulated by the Societies Act which has apparently enough number of provisions to control and regulate the functioning of these multi-state cooperative societies and where theoretically it is not a commercial venture of one individual or a business organization but is a cooperative efforts of many people who have come together for an identical purpose and have pooled their resources for their simultaneous common well-being.
32.                       That but against this theory, sadly and unfortunately, many unscrupulous and clever people are said to be distorting the legal fabric of cooperative societies and using it in their favour in different ways
33.                       That while there are many forms of distortions of alleged cooperative activities in different kinds of cooperatives, one particular distortion that has also been seen is the use of a credit cooperative society for raising public money.
34.                       That thus what happens is that while on paper the entity remains a credit cooperative society which are formed to provide financial support to the members where the society accepts deposits from members and grants them loans at reasonable rates of interest in times of need, in practice this format is misused by unscrupulous players to create/register a credit cooperative society on paper and use it as a means for collecting public money
35.                       That the benefit an unscrupulous business house or person seems to be gaining through circuitous route is that while it is raising public money all the time, it is getting a short-cut to avoid the rigours of law whereby they seem to be prima-facie getting a way to avoid the various provisions of the Companies Act, SEBI Act, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, SEBI (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000, SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009  and all other legal frameworks for having a firm control over the investors interest
36.                       That while it is not very apparent to every person what are the impact of this small legal and technical manipulation, but the insiders know that any player which is able to manage a way out to avoid the hold and control of the above-mentioned legal provisions and to remain out of the purview of SEBI as the regulatory authority to see to it that the investor interests are fully complied with, actually manages to have a lot of freedom to play with the public money it has raised through parallel money raising techniques in any possible manner, thereby avoiding the rigours of law, where the only end result is to completely jeopardize the interests of those helpless and hapless investors who do not even know the technical and legal differences between a company, the type of company, a credit cooperative society and so on.
37.                       That in all such cases where on paper it is a Credit cooperative society while the actual work being done by this alleged credit cooperative society is not of cooperative nature but is actually a public money raising exercise, it becomes a dream haven for those who are having the real control over these credit cooperative societies because they are apparently not liable and answerable to SEBI and/or other regulating agencies who are having close eyes at the public money collection activities so as to safeguard the interests of the investors.
38.                       That unfortunately it is being widely alleged that Sahara Credit is again one of those credit cooperative societies where there is a very sharp difference between theory and practice, where theoretically it is a credit cooperative where the people have joined hands and pooled their resources for common good but in practice it is said to be another novel way of collecting money while avoiding the rigours and legal mandates of law that regulate the raising of public money
39.                       That the true picture and angst in this regards has been clearly expressed by Ms Sucheta Dalal, bestowed Padmshree award by the Government of India and well known name for her numerous investigative pieces, notably known for breaking the securities scam in 1992 and a Member of the Investor Protection and Education Fund set up by the Government of India under the Department of Company Affairs in her article “Emotional Fundraising - Sahara Credit Cooperative Society & Infra / Retail Ltd-“On the contrary, Sahara can continue to raise funds through the Sahara Credit Cooperative Society without a problem—after all, not a single political party has expressed the slightest concern about Sahara’s fund-raising, despite the shadowy operations and dubious record-keeping confirmed by the apex court.
40.                       That a Mumbai-based investors’ group, Investors and Consumer Guidance Society, (ICGS) wrote a complaint to Governor, Reserve Bank of India, where it alleged that the group was mobilising deposits without going through the regulatory rigours of any central agency. “Sahara Group is now collecting deposits in the name of Sahara Credit Co-operative Society Ltd under three schemes, namely Sahara “A” Select, Sahara U Golden and Sahara E Shine,” the society said in its complaint. “If all other companies have to go through the rigours of RBI, Sebi, ROC, etc, we have this group which is not regulated by any agency,” it added.
41.                       That the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it does not regulate or supervise the affairs of Sahara Credit Co-operative Society. In an e-mail response to the complaint, a senior RBI official said, “It is observed that your complaint pertains to the functioning of Sahara Credit Co-operative Society Ltd., which is a co-operative credit society. We advise that Reserve Bank of India (Urban Banks Department) does not regulate and/or supervise the functioning of co-operative credit societies.”
42.                       That the investor group challenged the statement by saying-“The fact that they have not registered as an urban co-operative bank (UCB) cannot be used as an excuse to not look into their matters. They are collecting deposits from millions of investors. According to rules in force, any society whose capital and reserves exceed Rs 1 lakh and mobilising deposits, is bound to be regulated by RBI,” and that-“Since they have collected crores already, they are an Urban Cooperative Bank. Have they applied for or taken a licence from RBI? If not, it is RBI’s duty to immediately ask the Sahara Credit Co-operative Society to immediately stop deposit mobilisation and refund depositors.”
43.                       That section 22A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 needs special mention here-“Notwithstanding anything contained in any law or, judgment delivered or dsecree or order of any Court made,- (a) no licence, granted to a multi-State co-operative society by the Reserve Bank under section 22, which was subsisting on the date of commencement of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2004, shall be invalid or be deemed ever to have been invalid merely by the reason of such judgment, decree or order; (b) every licence, granted to a multi-State co-operative society by the Reserve Bank under section 22 which was subsisting on the date of commencement of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2004, shall be valid and be deemed always to have been validly granted in accordance with law;(c) a multi-State co-operative society whose application for grant of licence for carrying on banking business was pending with the Reserve Bank on the date of the commencement of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2004, shall be eligible to carry on banking business until it is granted a licence in pursuance of section 22 or is, by a notice in writing notified by the Reserve Bank that the licence cannot be granted to it.”
44.                       That while as a cooperative society, Sahara Credit cannot invite subscription and the subscription to a society's capital has to be voluntary but what seems to be done in this case seems prima-facie as being clearly violative of law because what constitutes an invitation is clearly described in law
45.                       That one Sri Indravadan Rathode, resident of A-250, Somnath Nagar, near Ravi Park, Vadodara, Gujarat-390009, mobile number # 076005-72474, who was initially a worker with Sahara India group but is now a whistle blower sent the petitioners a whole set of documents and narrated many facts on telephone which provided instances of many irregularities by Sahara India in various ways. While these included many alleged improprieties in refund of SIREC and SHICL, misuse of Sahara Q shop etc, he also narrated facts about improprieties in Sahara credit. It was told that one Sri Sanjay Parmar, B/115, Ashalata Park, Kamla Nagar, Ajawaa Road, Vadodara- 390019 Mobile No 099788-12213, an employee of Sahara India and a friend of Sri Rathode, had asked for balance sheet of Sahara Credit for the years 2010-11 to 2012-13 by the Ministry of Agriculture to which the Ministry provided the Balance sheet for 2010-11 while as per Sri Parmar’s version, he was called in office in Vadodara on 29/11/2013, threatened in the office and forced to write that he does not need it which he had to do being a Sahara employee. He has now sent a complaint dated 05/12/2013 of the same to Sri D N Thakur, Director (Coop), Department of Agriculture, Govt of India, being attached here as Annexure No 2.
46.                       That the petitioners presented a complaint through their Lt No-AT/Sahara/03 Dated- 02/01/2014 where they presented these facts related to the alleged improper and illegal acts of Sahara India and its various subsidiaries/group companies, including Sahara Credit. A copy of this complaint is being attached as Annexure No 3.
47.                       That among these complaints, other than the above facts, it was also said that allegedly all the subsidiary companies and affiliates of Sahara India including Sahara Credit cooperative society limited, floated in different names, use only one Account, in the name of Sahara India, which is not as per the provisions of law
48.                       That but so far no action has been taken in the petitioners’ complaint as regards Sahara Credit and other issues and to them it seems the interests of the investors getting constantly jeopardized, which might sooner or later, snowball into a major issue.
49.                       That the term “investor protection” defines the entity of efforts and activities to observe, safeguard and enforce the rights and claims of a person in his role as an investor. This includes advice and legal action. The assumption of a need of protection is based on the experience that financial investors are usually structurally inferior to providers of financial services and products due to lack of professional knowledge, information or experience. Countries with stronger investor protections tend to grow faster than those with poor investor protections.
50.                       That in India this work has been assigned to SEBI which functions under the SEBI Act. The Preamble of SEBI Act describes the basic functions of SEBI as"...to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto" for which it has been given wide-ranging powers
51.                       That the problem in this case is that possibly the various government respondents are not understanding who shall be finally responsible for looking into the matter- should it be SEBI, should it be Reserve Bank of India, should it be the Central Registrar of Multi State Cooperatives, should it be the Ministry of Agriculture or anyone else.
52.                       That but one thing that any lay man can understand is that whatever be the instrumentalities of the government or whoever responsible for taking the appropriate action, the Government of India and all its instrumentalities, agencies and organs definitely have the responsibility of completely safeguarding the interests of the investors and if any such possibility or complaint or inkling of investor interest getting jeopardized due to any kind of impropriety or foul play is there, the concerned organ/instrumentality of the Government of India, in isolation, or through a group of agencies need to come forward and react to the issue, by taking whatever possible measures as per the various provisions of law
53.                       That from whatever the petitioners can understand from the current legal status, at least the Central Registrar, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Reserve Bank of India seem to be definitely answerable to the current issue being presented while SEBI could be regarded as an agency that shall react to the situation because ultimately the matter relates to investor’s interest because whatever name they might be called (members of Credit cooperative society etc) in legal terms but de-facto and in reality they are the investors because the entire exercise has been carried by Sahara India and Sahara Credit in such a manner that it has made all its members believe that they are investing their money in the various new schemes of Sahara Credit and hence SEBI cannot remain oblivious of its role as the agency working for investor security, and just in the manner the Hon’ble Supreme Court said in No. 9813 of 2011 and SHICL filed Civil Appeal No. 9833 of 2011 that more than names and outer format, it is the content and the actual reality that counts and as explained in details in this PIL, the acts of Sahara Credit prima-facie seem to be an act of collection of money and hence SEBI as the agency and the associated laws for public deposit seem to be relevant in this case as well.
54.                       That apart from the technical and legal discussion of who exactly shall be called responsible for taking action in this case and to enquire the matter, it is definitely apparent that on the basis of the facts presented here, there seems to be an immediate need to get the matter enquired at whatever appropriate level, by whatever suitable and appropriate agency, in the interest of investor protection and in the interest of justice.  Thus there being an alleged direct violation of the provisions of law of the land, as enumerated in details in the PIL, the petitioners bring this matter for consideration before this Hon’ble Court in the interest of justice, for the sake of larger public good, as explained in great details in this PIL and hence the two petitioners, in this matter of wide public importance and public concern, approach before this Hon’ble Court, being left with no other option than to approach it with this PIL to ask for certain prayers because of the reasons being stated among the Grounds as enumerated below.
55.                       That the petitioner’s photograph and Identity proof has been enclosed along with.
GROUNDS
(1)            Because investor protection is of prime importance
(2)            Because the State (here the Government of India) is duty bound, as per the various provisions of law to safeguard the interests of the investors and to save them from any kind of improper acts at any level
(3)            Because in the present case, the possibilities of impropriety being conducted in Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited are quite high, as enumerated in details in the PIL and hence the need for intervention of this Hon’ble Court in the larger public interest

PRAYER
Wherefore, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to-
a.      to kindly issue a Writ of mandamus to all the concerned and appropriate respondents to enquire into the complaints as regards Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited, (Sahara Credit, for short) and take all necessary action to ensure the complete compliance of the various legal mandates prescribed for collection of public money in the Companies Act 1956, the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002, section 22A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 and/or the various other related Acts, Rules, Regulations and Guidelines etc, so as to safeguard the interests of millions of investors and to take legal actions against Respondent No 5, Sahara India Parivar and respondent No 6, Sahara Credit, if found guilty on any count as per the enquiry done by the respondents, within a period of say, three months
b.     to pass any other order or directions which this Hon’ble Court may deems fit and proper in the facts and circumstance of the present case.

Lucknow                                             (Amitabh Thakur)(Dr Nutan Thakur)
Dated-      06/03/2014                                                   Petitioner in Person                                                                                                       # 94155-34526











In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No-              of 2014 (PIL-Civil)
Amitabh Thakur and another                                                 Petitioners
Versus
Union of India and others                                                         Respondents








AFFIDAVIT
I, Nutan Thakur, aged about 40 years, w/o Sri Amitabh Thakur r/o 5/426, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, religion Hinduism, education- P Hd, D Litt profession- social activism, the deponent, do hereby solemnly affirm and state on oath as under-
1.     That the deponent is petitioner No 2 in the above noted petition and as such she is fully conversant with the facts and circumstances of the case, deposed to hereunder. She has also been authorized by petitioner No 1 to depose this affidavit before this Hon’ble Court.
2.     That the contents of the paragraphs                                                                        of the Writ petition are true to my personal knowledge,                                            based on documents and records and                                                   believed to be true or are based on legal advice.
3.     That the Annexure No 1 is the true copy of their original.

Place Lucknow                                                                  (Nutan Thakur)
Date-      06/03/2014                                                     Deponent

VERIFICATION
I, the deponent above named, do hereby verify that the contents of paragraphs 1 to 3 above this Affidavit are true and correct to my knowledge and belief. No part of it is false and nothing material has been concealed. So, help me God

Signed and verified this the                             day of                                    2014  at Lucknow
Deponent
Identification
I identify the deponent, on the basis of records produced before me, who has signed before me.
                                    Advocate

Solemnly affirmed me on                                 at                                am/pm by the deponent Nutan Thakur, who has been identified by Sri                              clerk to Sri                                                                                                                                       , Advocate, high court, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
I have satisfied myself by examining the deponent that she understands the contents of this Affidavit which have been read over and explained to her by me
                                                                                                Oath Commissioner

Serious complaints against Sahara India
IPS officer Amitabh Thakur and social activist Dr Nutan Thakur have demanded enquiry as regards money-collection scheme of Sahara India through Sahara Q shop and Sahara Credit society.
In their complaint to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) along with the Corporate Affairs Ministry, the two have said that it is being widely alleged that along with Sahara Q shop scheme, Sahara India is collecting public money through a new entity, Sahara Credit cooperative society, having variety of schemes like Sahara E shine, Sahara A Select, Sahara Minor, Sahara M Benefit etc.
As per the complaint, this society is registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and is collecting money against the rule of law as regards collection of public money. Thus just like what the Supreme Court said in its order as regards Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL), these money collection in Sahara Q shop and Sahara credit society seem to come within the definition of “securities” as defined under Section 2(h) of Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 where Sahara India seems to be contravening the provisions of Sections 56, 73, 117A, 117B and 117C of the Companies Act along with the various clauses of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000 and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009.

The petitioners have said that they had previously sent their complaint on 02 January but no action has been taken so far and if these complaints are not enquired within time, it might prove extremely detrimental to interest of the helpless investors.


सहारा इंडिया के खिलाफ गंभीर शिकायतें
आईपीएस अफसर अमिताभ ठाकुर और सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता डॉ नूतन ठाकुर ने सहारा इंडिया द्वारा सहारा क्यू शॉप तथा सहारा क्रेडिट सोसाइटी के माध्यम से किये जा रहे पूँजी निवेश की जांच की मांग की है.
भारतीय प्रतिभूति और विनियम बोर्ड (सेबी) तथा कोरपोरेट मालों के मंत्रालय को भेजी अपनी शिकायत में उन्होंने कहा है कि सहारा इंडिया द्वारा सहारा क्यू शॉप के साथ सहारा क्रेडिट कोआपरेटिव सोसाइटी नामक संस्था के जरिये नियमविरुद्ध तरीके से पूँजी निवेश कराये जाने की गंभीर शिकायतें बतायी जा रही हैं, जिसके तहत सहारा ई शाइन, सहारा ए सेलेक्ट, सहारा माइनर, सहारा एम बेनिफिट जैसे अनेक स्कीम बाजार में हैं.
शिकायत के अनुसार यह सोसाइटी कृषि मंत्रालय, भारत सरकार के यहाँ पंजीकृत है और देश के क़ानून के विपरीत पूँजी निवेश करा रही है. पूर्व में सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने सहारा इंडिया रियल एस्टेट कारपोरेशन लिमिटेड तथा सहारा हाउसिंग इन्वेस्टमेंट कारपोरेशन लिमिटेड के मामलों में यह स्पष्ट कर दिया है कि इस प्रकार जमा किया गया धन प्रतिभूति अनुबंध (नियमन) अधिनियम 1956  की धारा 2(एच) में परिभाषित “प्रतिभूति” के अंतर्गत माना जाएगा और ये पैसा निवेश कराते समय सहारा ने कंपनी अधिनियम की धारा 56, 73, 117, 117बी तथा 117सी का उल्लंघन करने के साथ सेबी (डीप) गाइडलाइंस 2000 तथा सेबी (इशू ऑफ़ कैपिटल एंड डिसक्लोजर रिक्वायरमेंट्स) रेगुलेशन 2009 के प्रावधानों के विपरीत काम किया.

श्री अमिताभ तथा डॉ नूतन के अनुसार उसी प्रकार की सम्भावना सहारा क्यू शॉप और क्रेदिर सोसाइटी के मामलों में भी है, जिसके बारे में उन्होंने
02 जनवरी को शिकायतें भेजी थीं पर अभी तक उन पर कोई कार्यवाही नहीं हुई है और यदि शिकायतों पर समय रहते कार्यवाही नहीं हुई तो तमाम असहाय निवेशकों के साथ भारी अन्याय होने की सम्भावना रहेगी.

Amitabh Thakur # 094155-34526
Dr Nutan Thakur # 094155-34525

Copy of the letters---


The Chairman,
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI),
Mumbai 400051
Subject- Enquiry and necessary action as regards various serious allegations against Sahara India and its subsidiaries

Dear Sir,
1.       Kindly refer to our Lt No-AT/Sahara/03 Dated- 02/01/2014 where we, Petitioner No 1, Amitabh Thakur, a UP Cadre IPS officer and Petitioner No 2, Dr Nutan Thakur, a social activist presented certain facts related to the alleged improper and illegal acts of Sahara India and its various subsidiaries/group companies.
2.       That the first fact enumerated was that while Sahara Q shop scheme was already there where the money was allegedly being collected in an improper manner and which needed a thorough enquiry, regarding which the petitioners have already moved the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench in Writ Petition No 7955 of 2013 (M/B) (Amitabh Thakur and another vs SEBI and others), after inaction on the part of SEBI,  Sahara India is now collecting public money through a new scheme known as Sahara Credit cooperative society, which  has schemes like Sahara E shine which is allegedly a 8 year deposit/money collection scheme at 12% rate of return and Sahara A select which is a one year deposit scheme at 10% rate of interest. It also has a daily scheme called Sahara Minor which is a one year deposit scheme where one can deposit as less amount as Rs. 10 to 20 per day with an interest return and a returning scheme called Sahara M Benefit which is a monthly recurring scheme with 8% interest rate and money returned after 5 years. As per the information made available to us, Sahara Credit Cooperative society has registration with the Agriculture department, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and is collecting money in a manner against the rule of law as regards collection of public money.
3.       That it was also prayed that Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited has Rajat Yojana and Swarn Yojana which allegedly was announced as a 10 year time period investment with 10% rate of return where after 4 years money could be taken back, where it was allegedly said that there would be a draw every month and a quarterly draw but till date no investor all over India is said to have been given any house as was promised in the scheme, despite the 10 year period having got completed. 
4.       That it was also alleged that the Bank account for all the subsidiary companies and affiliates of Sahara India, floated in different names, use only one Account, in the name of Sahara India, which is not as per the provisions of law
5.       That the petitioners had also provided as a copy of the transactions/vouchers by Sahara India from Makanpura office, Vadodara, Gujarat as regards Sahara India Real Estate and Sahara India Housing where money has been allegedly returned to the investors through Account payee cheque but 15% rate of interest as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not been given, while at the same time TDS has been deducted which is not correct 
6.       That a specific example of Thakkar family was been cited where Branch Manager of Nyaya Mandir branch Sri Bishwajit P Singh had made payment to the Thakkars who had invested money in Sahara Real Estate through his own personal bank account on 21/11/2012, though the same is being shown as having been returned as early as May 2012 and this incorrect documentation has also been submitted before the Hon’ble Supreme Court itself
7.       That the complaint had also presented many specific examples like that of Sri Rameshbhai B Kalwar, Sri Sanjay Parmar, Sri Indravadan Rathode and his wife Ms Tara I Rathode etc
8.       That it was prayed by the petitioners that the purpose of this complaint was to apprise of the facts and documents and to get the matter enquired as per the provisions of law because this matter concerns the interests of investors to Sahara India and all its subsidiary and allied companies all over India including Lucknow where the applicants reside.
9.       That the applicants also made it clear that they have nothing personal against Ms Sahara India and/or its subsidiaries and the only purpose to present this complaint was to get all these facts enquired so that the interest of the investors are saved
10.   That to the best of the petitioners’ knowledge, no action has been taken in the petitioners complaint so far
11.   That in wake of the recent happenings related with Sahara India, the petitioners’ complaint assume great significance as regards the interests of millions of investors who have invested their hard-earned money in many Sahara companies, which have a great possibility of having been undertaken against the law of the land, thereby jeopardizing the interests of these investors.
12.   That this is because as explained by SEBI in its final order through its whole-time member (WTM) on 23/06/2011 where SEBI examined the nature of OFCDs issued by Saharas and came to the conclusion that OFCDs issued would come within the definition of “securities” as defined under Section 2(h) of Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.
13.   That this is because SEBI also found that those OFCDs issued to the public were in the nature of Hybrid securities, marketable and would not fall outside the genus of debentures. SEBI also found that the OFCDs issued, by definition, design and characteristics intrinsically and essentially, were debentures and the Saharas had designed the OFCDs to invite subscription from the public at large through their agents, private offices and information memorandum. SEBI concluded that OFCDs issued were in fact public issues and the Saharas were bound to comply with Section 73 of the Companies Act, in compliance with the parameters provided by the first proviso to Section 67(3) of the Companies Act. SEBI took the view that OFCDs issued by Saharas should have been listed on a recognized stock exchange and ought to have followed the disclosure requirement and other investors' protection norms
14.   That SEBI also held that Saharas were not justified in raising crores and crores of rupees on the premise that that OFCDs issued by them, were by way of private placement. SEBI, therefore, found that the Saharas had contravened the provisions of Sections 56, 73, 117A, 117B and 117C of the Companies Act and also various clauses of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000 Guidelines.
15.   That SEBI also held that SHICL had not complied with the provisions of Regulations 4(2), 5(1), 5(7), 6, 7, 16(1), 20(1), 25, 26, 36, 37, 46 and 57 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009 Regulations.
16.   That having found so, SEBI directed Saharas to refund the money collected under the Prospectus dated 13.3.2008 and 6.10.2009 to all such investors who had subscribed to their OFCDs, with interest.
17.   That Saharas, aggrieved by the above mentioned order of SEBI, filed Appeal Nos. 131 of 2011 and 132 of 2011 before the Securities Appellate Tribunal and the Tribunal passed a common order on 18.10.2011, where it endorsed the views expressed by SEBI
18.   That aggrieved by the said order of the Tribunal, SIRECL filed C.A. No. 9813 of 2011 and SHICL filed C.A. No. 9833 of 2011 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court under Section 15Z of the SEBI Act where the Hon’ble Supreme Court almost fully endorsed the orders of SEBI and the Tribunal
19.   That it does not need any iteration that what held true for SIRECL and SHICL hold true in no less measure for the various schemes mentioned by the petitioners in their complaints dated 02/01/2014 as regards Sahara Credit cooperative society and Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited
20.   That it is also prayed that any further delay in holding enquiry in this matter and not taking the required action in these cases would go against the interests of millions of helpless investors and would definitely be against public interest.
21.   That hence the applicants pray once again to kindly get the various facts enumerated in the complaint dated 02/01/2014 enquired immediately, so as to take all necessary actions as per the provisions of law, to bring the desired regulation and order in the financial market, thus saving the innocent investors.
Lt No-AT/Sahara/03                                                                                     Yours,
Dated- 28/02/2014
                                                                                                (Amitabh Thakur) (Nutan Thakur)
                                                                                                                                5/426, Viram Khand,
                                                                                                                                Gomti Nagar,
                                                                                                                                Lucknow- 226010
                                                                                                                                # 94155-34526, 94155-34525
                                                                                                                                email-
amitabhthakurlko@gmail.com
                                                                                                                               
nutanthakurlko@gmail.com
Copy to-
 1. The Principal Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of India, New Delhi
2. The Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
3. The Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
4. The Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi



To,
The Chairman,
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI),
Mumbai 400051
Subject- Enquiry and necessary action as regards various serious allegations against Sahara India and its subsidiaries

Dear Sir,
1.       Petitioner No 1, Amitabh Thakur, a UP Cadre IPS officer, also active as regards issues of transparency and accountability in public life and Petitioner No 2, Dr Nutan Thakur, a social activist present certain facts in their individual capacity particularly in light of the facts and documents presented by Sri Indravadan Rathod from Vadodara, who previously worked in Sahara India as an agent along with his wife, but later got completely disenchanted and disillusioned as regards Sahara India due to its alleged dubious activities became a whistle-blower.
2.       That these acts relate to the alleged improper and illegal acts of Sahara India and its various subsidiaries/group companies.
3.       That the first fact enumerated to us is that after Sahara Q shop scheme through which Sahara India allegedly converted majority of the money it was supposed to refund as  per order dated 31/08/2012 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Sahara India Real Estate Company vs Securities & Exchange Board Of India (SEBI, for short) & others (Civil Appeal No. 9833 of 2011) as regards Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited, Sahara India is now collecting public money through a new scheme known as Sahara Credit cooperative society. This has schemes like Sahara E shine which is allegedly a 8 year deposit/money collection scheme at 12% rate of return and Sahara A select which is a one year deposit scheme at 10% rate of interest. As per the information made available to us, Sahara Credit Cooperative society has registration with the Agriculture department, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and is collecting money in a manner against the rule of law as regards collection of public money. It has also been said that despite repeated requests by Sri Rathode and even directions issued by the Ministry, the required information has not been provided.
4.       That in Sahara Q shop registered with the Registrar of Companies, Kanpur amount being collected, no mention is being made as regards the security amount and the maturity date. (copy enclosed)
5.       That as regards Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited, there are Rajat Yojana and Swarn Yojana which allegedly was announced as a 10 year time period investment with 10% rate of return where after 4 years money could be taken back. It was allegedly said that there would be a draw every month and a quarterly draw. Since date no investor all over India is said to have been given any house as was promised in the scheme, despite the 10 year period having got completed.  (Enclosed)
6.       That it has also been told to us that the Bank account for all the subsidiary companies and affiliates of Sahara India, floated in different names, use only one Account, in the name of Sahara India, which is not as per the provisions of law
7.       That Sri Rathode has provided as a copy of the transactions/vouchers by Sahara India from Makanpura office, Vadodara, Gujarat as regards Sahara India Real Estate and Sahara India Housing where money has been allegedly returned to the investors through Account payee cheque but 15% rate of interest as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not been given, while at the same time TDS has been deducted which is not correct  (copy enclosed)
8.       That a specific example of Thakkar family (Sri Kanubhai R Thakkur, Ms Sudhaben K Thakkar, Ms Dipali M Thakkar, Ms Saraswati K Thakkar) has also been cited where Branch Manager of Nyaya Mandir branch Sri Bishwajit P Singh had made payment to the Thakkars who had invested money in Sahara Real Estate  21/11/2012 where Sri Rathode has himself been a witness. Since money invested in Sahara Real Estate was allegedly not been returned but was being transferred to Sahara Q shop and the Thakkars were insisting for getting their money paid back instead of getting it transferred to Sahara Q shop, hence allegedly to get the original documents related with Sahara Real Estate released in the wake of the Hon’ble Supreme Court order, the Branch Manager at Nyaya Mandir paid the money through his own personal bank account in November 2012 though the same is being shown as having been returned as early as May 2012. As per Sri Rathode, this incorrect documentation of having returned money to the Thakkars as early as May 2012 while actually returning it on 21/11/2012 has also been submitted before the Hon’ble Supreme Court itself (copy enclosed)
9.       That as regards Sahara Credit Cooperative, another company of Sahara India for collecting money, it is said that there is a daily scheme called Sahara Minor which is a one year deposit scheme where one can deposit as less amount as Rs. 10 to 20 per day with an interest return. There is also a returning scheme called Sahara M Benefit which is a monthly recurring scheme with 8% interest rate and money returned after 5 years. As per Sri Rathode, this scheme is against the provisions of law where money is being collected against the lawful provisions.
10.   That Sri Sanjay Parmar, an employee of Sahara India had asked for balance sheet of Sahara India credit cooperative society Limited for the years 2010-11 to 2012-13 by the Ministry of Agriculture to which the Ministry provided the Balance sheet for 2010-11 while as per Sri Parmar’s version, he was called in office on 29/11/2013, threatened in the office and forced to write that he does not need it which he had to do being a Sahara employee. He has now sent a complaint dated 05/12/2013 of the same to Sri D N Thakur, Director (Coop), Department of Agriculture, Govt of India. (copy enclosed)
11.   That there is also a specific complaint of Sri Rameshbhai B Kalwar r/o 71, Rajdhani society, tarani Vasaria road, Vadodara, Gujarat dated 05/12/2013 where he has alleged non-payment of money in Silver year Labh Yojana which he bought on 06/09/2003 (copy enclosed)
12.   That another complaint by Sri Rathode dated 24/10/2013 as regards Sahara India Real Estate Limited has also been presented to Ministry of Corporate Affairs but it seems to be still lingering due to non-cooperation by Sahara India Real Estate despite directions of the Office of Registrar, Kanpur dated 31/10/2013 (copy enclosed)
13.   That similarly a complaint by Ms Tara I Rathode forwarded by Kanpur ROC to Mumbai ROC through their letter dated 31/10/2013 is also unattended so far. (copy enclosed)
14.   That Sri Rathode has provided as documents as regards a few of these allegations which we annex with this complaint.
15.   That the purpose of this complaint is to apprise you of the facts and documents presented to us and to get the matter enquired as per the provisions of law because this matter concerns the interests of investors to Sahara India and all its subsidiary and allied companies all over India including Lucknow where the applicants reside.
16.   That the applicants also make it clear that they have nothing personal against Ms Sahara India and/or its subsidiaries and the only purpose to present this complaint to get all these facts enquired so that the interest of the investors are saved, being jeopardized presently as the various documents seem to suggest and state.
17.   That hence the applicants pray that after having enquired into the matter appropriate action as per the provisions of law may kindly be taken to bring the desired regulation and order in the financial market, thus saving the innocent investors.
Lt No-AT/Sahara/03                                                                                     Yours,
Dated- 02/01/2014
                                                                                                (Amitabh Thakur) (Nutan Thakur)
                                                                                                                                5/426, Viram Khand,
                                                                                                                                Gomti Nagar,
                                                                                                                                Lucknow- 226010
                                                                                                                                # 94155-34526, 94155-34525
                                                                                                                                email-
amitabhthakurlko@gmail.com
                                                                                                                               
nutanthakurlko@gmail.com
Copy to-
 1. The Principal Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of India, New Delhi
2. The Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
3. The Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
4. The Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi
5. Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai

Enclosure- All the relevant documents as regards various complaints mentioned specifically

5 comments:

  1. Should someone stay invested with this "Sahara Credit Cooperative Society" ? Is there any chance of loosing my money ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can anyone let me know how to contact sahara , I am trying to call Lucknow branch on 5222330155 but, is used for modem. I don't see any contact anywhere in Bihar.
    I need to withdraw full amount.

    ReplyDelete
  3. please contact o p srivastava

    ReplyDelete
  4. contact mr o p srivastava lucknow

    ReplyDelete
  5. Banks can bid for the immovable properties and can purchase same if there are no bidders and sell it later to book profit. cooperative society

    ReplyDelete