Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy dies of cardiorespiratory arrest at 75

NEW DELHI : Subrata Roy, the leader of Sahara Group, passed away on Tuesday in a Mumbai hospital due to a cardiorespiratory arrest. The company’s statement cited his prolonged struggle with complications stemming from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes.
According to a company statement, Roy was admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute in Mumbai on Sunday after his health deteriorated. Weddings of his two sons some two decades ago are still among the biggest parties ever seen in India. He lived in Lucknow.
He faced multiple regulatory and legal battles in connection with his group firms that were accused of circumventing regulations with Ponzi schemes, allegations his group always denied. Having scripted one of the most famous rags-to-riches stories of the country, Roy went on to expand his business across various sectors ranging from finance, housing, manufacturing, aviation and the media and became a household name. His enterprise went on to own landmark global properties, including New York’s Plaza Hotel and London’s iconic Grosvenor House. Sahara also sponsored the Indian cricket and hockey teams and owned a Formula One racing team.
His troubles began in November 2010 when stock market regulator SEBI asked two entities of Sahara Group not to mobilise funds from equity markets or from issuance of any security to the public while restraining Roy from approaching the public for raising money.
Roy was arrested in 2014 on the orders of the Supreme Court after he failed to appear before it in a contempt case arising out of non-refund of more than Rs 20,000 crore to investors by two of his companies. He was later granted bail but troubles continued for his various businesses.Two Sahara Group companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECA) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation — raised funds in 2007-08 through a debenture instrument OFCD. Later in June 2011, the regulator asked the two group entities to refund money collected from investors through Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCD) along with the return.
After a long process of appeals and cross-appeals, the Supreme Court had ordered in 2012 refund of deposits of its investors along with 15 per cent interest. Sahara was eventually asked to deposit an estimated Rs 24,000 crore with Sebi for further refund to investors, though the group always maintained it amounted to “double payment” as it had already refunded more than 95 per cent of investors directly.
Once asked for proof of repayment, Roy famously sent across 100 truckloads of documents to Sebi, triggering a unique warehousing crisis for the regulator. In another incident, a man from Gwalior threw ink on Roy’s face and called him a thief when he was brought to the Supreme Court in his trademark waistcoat and tie amid chaotic
The Sahara Group had earlier said it has always built its businesses by productively channelizing human capital spread across India and giving employment and work at people’s doorstep. “In this way, Sahara is providing bread and butter to more than 14 lakh people in their own villages and towns. It is the country’s second-largest human capital after Indian Railways. This amount could have been used by the organisation to generate more employment and work and helped the country and therefore its economy,” it had said in an earlier statement.
According to the capital markets regulator’s latest annual report, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) issued ₹138.07 crore in refunds over 11 years to investors of two Sahara Group firms. The undistributed funds totaling over ₹ 25,000 crore lying with the capital markets regulator Sebi’s account have come back into focus after the death of Sahara Group’s chief Subrata Roy. Sahara was eventually asked to deposit an estimated ₹ 24,000 crore with Sebi for further refund to investors, though the group has been maintaining that it had already refunded more than 95 per cent of investors directly.
Going by the annual report, Sebi received 19,650 applications involving 53,687 accounts as of March 31, 2023. Of these, “refunds have been made concerning 17,526 applications involving 48,326 accounts for an aggregate amount of ₹ 138.07 crore, including the interest amount of ₹ 67.98 crore.” The remaining applications were closed due to their records not being traceable in the data provided by two Sahara Group firms.
(Bureau Report with Agency inputs ).

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