SC warns against obstructing Aamby Valley auction
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.