SC warns against ob­struct­ing Aamby Val­ley auc­tion

Financial Chronicle - - COMPANIES, MONEY & MARKETS -

THE Supreme Court on Thurs­day took strong ex­cep­tion to the Sa­hara Group al­legedly ob­struct­ing the auc­tion­ing process of Aamby Val­ley and warned that any­body creat­ing im­ped­i­ments would be li­able for con­tempt and may be “sent to jail”.

The apex court was irked when Sebi claimed that the group had al­legedly ob­structed the aunc­tion­ing process by writ­ing a let­ter to the Pune po­lice rais­ing the is­sue of law and or­der at the prime prop­erty. Tak­ing note of Sebi's al­le­ga­tion in this re­gard, a bench headed by Jus­tice Di­pak Misra said the group could not have en­tered into a com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Pune's Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Po­lice (Ru­ral) on the is­sue since the auc­tion has been or­dered by the top court.

Se­nior ad­vo­cate Arvind Datar, ap­pear­ing for Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Board of In­dia (Sebi), claimed be­fore the bench that the Septem­ber 28 com­mu­ni­ca­tion, ad­dressed by the group to the Pune po­lice re­gard­ing law and or­der sit­u­a­tion at Aamby val­ley, has stalled the on­go­ing auc­tion process. "It is sub­mit­ted by Mr Datar that as a con­se­quence of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the po­lice has taken cus­tody of the prop­erty. If it is so, we direct the di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice, Ma­ha­rash­tra, to see to it that the prop­erty is handed over to the of­fi­cial liq­uida­tor (of the Bom­bay High Court) within 48 hours,” the bench, also com­pris­ing Jus­tices Ran­jan Go­goi and AK Sikri, said.

"If any im­ped­i­ment is cre­ated by any­one, he shall be li­able for con­tempt of this court and may be sent to jail," it said. The pu­n­ish­ment for con­tempt is up to six months of sim­ple im­pris­on­ment. Later how­ever, the apex court clar­i­fied that it was not ini­ti­at­ing any con­tempt ac­tion at this stage. Sebi al­leged that the po­lice has taken cus­tody of the prop­erty due to which no bid­der was will­ing to take part in the auc­tion process. “You go ahead with the auc­tion,” the bench said.

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