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'Victimised' but will fight to finish: Roy

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New Delhi (PTI): Sahara chief Subrata Roy said he has been victimised over the years, beginning with political vendetta in 2005 followed by regulatory...

royNew Delhi (PTI): Sahara chief Subrata Roy said he has been victimised over the years, beginning with political vendetta in 2005 followed by regulatory clampdowns by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi). "It started as political vendetta against us in 2005, and thereafter became a chain reaction. First, the RBI took action against us in 2008 and then Sebi clamped down on our businesses," the head of the diversified conglomerate said. The group has businesses in entertainment, real estate, financial services and hospitality segments, among others. Roy said other businesses of the Sahara group were being hit by Sebi's actions, but he was ready for a "fight to the finish" and confident of matters being resolved in due course. Roy was summoned by the market regulator Sebi yesterday to ascertain the details of assets belonging to him and two group companies, which the regulator may sell to generate over Rs. 24,000 crore required to be returned to the investors. Sebi has charged Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) of "various illegalities" in raising these funds. The Supreme Court has asked Sahara to return this money to over three crore bondholders, while Sebi has been asked to facilitate the refund after verifying the genuineness of the investors. A combative Roy claimed that his group has been the target of personal vendetta by "certain" officials from the RBI and Sebi. The Sahara chief also said he had wasted 60 per cent of his time fighting Sebi over the last two years, and could have used that time for "some constructive work". "We have suffered a lot because of this," he said. Roy, however, ruled out any political conspiracy at play in the current scenario. "Today, the issues being raised against us do not appear to be linked to the original political matters of 2005," he said, but refused to specify what those issues were, adding that it was an old matter and should not be raised at this time. Mr Roy has often been described as being close to various political leaders, especially those from Uttar Pradesh. He also denied the allegations of his group companies being used to launder funds of rich politicians and others, and dared the "entire system" to prove even one case of fictitious investor accounts or money laundering.
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