Ministry of Cooperation Launches CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal to Protect Interests of Members of Cooperatives

Ministry of Cooperation - CRCS-Sahara - Ministry of Cooperation Launches CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal - CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal - Refund Portal - Taxscan

Today, on July 18, 2023, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, inaugurated the ‘CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal’ in New Delhi at 11:00 am. This portal has been launched as part of the Ministry of Cooperation’s efforts, under the leadership of Prime Minister and with the guidance of Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation to reinforce the cooperative movement in the nation and safeguard the interests of cooperative members.

Under the oversight of Retired Judge R.K Subhash Reddy, who has been appointed by the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Cooperation is set to initiate the payment process for legitimate investors of cooperative societies associated with the Sahara Group. This process will be carried out through a transparent mechanism, ensuring fairness and providing relief to millions of investors and their families.

It is important to note that the Ministry of Cooperation took action to address the concerns of authentic members and depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies regarding the payment of their rightful deposits. To this end, the Ministry filed an application in the Supreme Court of India.

In its order dated March 29, 2023, the Supreme Court directed the transfer of Rs. 5000 Crores from the “Sahara-SEBI Refund Account” to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS) for disbursing the funds towards the legitimate dues of genuine depositors associated with the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies.

A dedicated portal has been created to facilitate the submission of valid claims by the authentic depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies. This portal is specifically designed for individuals associated with entities such as Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Saharayan Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd., Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd. These genuine depositors can utilize the portal to submit their legitimate claims.

The portal is accessible via the official website of the Ministry of Cooperation, which can be found at The Genuine depositors associated with these societies can log in to the portal and proceed to submit their claims by completing the online application form provided on the portal. They will also have the option to upload the necessary documents along with their claim submission.

Supreme Court Direction of the Refund Portal

The Supreme Court on 29th March 2023 ordered the refund from Sahara-SEBI refund account to about 10 crore investors of 4 Cooperative societies of Sahara Group. A large number of complaints were received from across the country regarding non-payment of deposits to the depositors of these co-operative societies.

As per the directions of the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, the Ministry of Cooperation has taken up the matter on priority and held several meetings with the Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Revenue, SEBI, SFIO and ED etc.

The Ministry filed a petition in this regard before the Hon’ble Supreme Court for status report and resolution of the matter. It was requested to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that Rs. 5,000 crore from the Sahara-SEBI Refund Account can be used to pay depositors of the four co-operative societies of the Sahara Group.

On the petition filed by the Ministry of Cooperation, the Supreme Court ordered that out of the balance amount in the Sahara-SEBI Refund Account, Rs. 5,000 crore to be transferred to the Central Registrar for refund to the investors of Cooperative Societies of Sahara Group.

Under the supervision of the Supreme Court-appointed Retired judge R. Subhash Reddy and with the assistance of Mr. Gaurav Agarwal, Advocate, the Central Registrar will complete the payment process in 9 months.

The payment to the investors will be made through a transparent process to the legitimate investors of Sahara Societies through their bank accounts on the basis of proper proof of their identity and deposit.

Sahara Group Issue

In 2009, the Sahara Group launched initial public offerings (IPOs) for two of its companies, namely Sahara Housing Corporation Limited and Sahara India Real Estate Corporation. However, following allegations from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regarding the group’s alleged use of illegal methods to raise funds from the public, an investigation was initiated.

SEBI demanded that the group repay the funds to investors. This issue escalated into a complex dispute, leading to subsequent litigation in the courts which went up to the Supreme Court. And this refund portal is an initiative taken by the ministry in response to the directions of the apex court.

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