India

India's Sahara group to refund $3bn 'in three months'

Sahara group chairman Subroto Roy
Image caption Sahara group is led by flamboyant businessman Subroto Roy

India's Sahara business group, which was ordered by the Supreme Court to refund $3bn to its investors, has said it will do so within three months.

Sahara lawyer Gopal Subramaniam told the court that the company "will refund the amount. There is no question of going back".

Sahara, which sponsors Indian cricket, will also have to pay 15% interest.

The business group was ordered last month to refund the money for failing to comply with financial regulations.

The Supreme Court order followed a ruling by financial regulators which found that fundraising rules had not been complied with.

Sahara began raising the money four years ago from 22 million small investors, many of them in rural India.

The group is involved in a range of activities, including finance, housing, manufacturing and the media.

It is run by flamboyant businessman Subroto Roy Sahara who styles himself as a "worker's friend" and has a rags-to-riches story. He is a household name in India.

Sahara also sponsors the Indian hockey team and owns a stake in Formula One racing team, Force India.

The group also has interests overseas, recently agreeing to buy a controlling stake in New York's landmark Plaza Hotel for $570m.

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