Sahara Founder Subrata Roy’s Legacy and Controversies: A Comprehensive Overview

Subrata Roy, the esteemed chairman of the Sahara Group, passed away on November 14 at the age of 75, succumbing to cardiorespiratory arrest. The company officially confirmed his demise, providing detailed information about the circumstances leading to his passing.

As the founder of Sahara India Pariwar, Subrata Roy breathed his last at 10:30 pm, a consequence of cardiorespiratory arrest exacerbated by a prolonged illness marked by complications stemming from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes.

The company’s statement revealed that Roy’s health had significantly deteriorated on November 12, prompting his admission to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute in Mumbai.

In a solemn declaration, Sahara India Pariwar expressed profound sadness, formally announcing the loss of their Hon’ble ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara, who served as the Managing Worker and Chairman of the organization.

The statement went on to describe Roy as a guiding force, mentor, and a source of inspiration for all those who had the privilege of working alongside him. The company acknowledged that his absence would be deeply felt across the entire Sahara Group.

Furthermore, the statement emphasized the commitment of the group to perpetuate Subrata Roy’s legacy and vision, ensuring his influence continues to drive and shape the organization in the future.

What was Sahara?

Sahara India Pariwar, often referred to simply as Sahara, was a conglomerate founded by Subrata Roy in 1978.

The group diversified its business interests across a wide array of industries, including finance, real estate, media, and hospitality.

At its peak, Sahara was one of India’s largest and most prominent business entities, with a significant presence both nationally and internationally.

Controversy surrounded Sahara and its founder, Subrata Roy, primarily in the financial sector.

One of the major controversies stemmed from the issuance of optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) by two Sahara companies – Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL).

These debentures were sold to millions of investors, with Sahara claiming that they were private placements and, therefore, not subject to market regulations.

However, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulatory body overseeing the securities market in the country, challenged Sahara’s claim and contended that these instruments were public issues that required regulatory compliance.

After a prolonged legal battle, the Supreme Court of India, in 2012 and 2014, ruled in favor of SEBI and ordered Sahara to refund billions of dollars to the investors.

Subrata Roy himself faced legal troubles and was detained for several years for failing to comply with the court’s orders. He was eventually released on parole in 2016 for medical reasons.

The Sahara controversy became a high-profile case, drawing attention not only for its financial implications but also for the legal and regulatory issues it raised.

The case underscored the importance of transparency and regulatory compliance in the financial markets, and it had a lasting impact on corporate governance discussions in India.

Despite the controversies, Sahara continued its business operations in various sectors, with its diversified portfolio remaining a significant player in the Indian business landscape.

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