En­sure Aamby Val­ley handed over to of­fi­cial liq­uida­tor: SC

Mint ST - - CORPORATE - BY PRIYANKA MIT­TAL priyanka.m@livemint.com NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Thurs­day di­rected the di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice of Ma­ha­rash­tra to en­sure that Sa­hara Group’s flag­ship prop­erty Aamby Val­ley was handed over to the court-ap­pointed of­fi­cial liq­uida­tor within 48 hours.

This was to make sure that the auc­tion process did not face any kind of ob­struc­tion in the fu­ture.

While ex­press­ing dis­plea­sure at Sa­hara’s ac­tions, a bench headed by Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra held that the of­fi­cial liq­uida­tor su­per­vis­ing the auc­tion process should take guid­ance from jus­tice A.S. Oka, sit­ting judge of the Bom­bay high court as the auc­tion process pro­ceeded.

Arvind Datar, coun­sel for Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Board of In­dia (Sebi), told the court that Aamby Val­ley’s auc­tion was stalled due to a lock­down cre­ated by the po­lice at Sa­hara’s be­hest. Two prospec­tive bid­ders had backed out ahead of the auc­tion due to the law and or­der sit­u­a­tion.

“If there is a lock­out, who is go­ing to bid? Po­lice has taken cus­tody of the prop­erty. This is part of an or­ches­trated at­tempt by the Sa­hara Group to stall the auc­tion process,” Datar said.

On 28 Septem­ber, Sa­hara had writ­ten let­ters to the po­lice and other au­thor­i­ties in Pune cit­ing a law and or­der sit­u­a­tion at Aamby Val­ley. Sub­se­quently, the po­lice took over the prop­erty ob­struct­ing the auc­tion of the prop­erty that was to take place on 3 Oc­to­ber.

Sebi had moved the apex court on 10 Oc­to­ber in a con­tempt plea against the Sa­hara Group, al­leg­ing ob­struc­tion in the auc­tion process of Aamby Val­ley. “Sa­hara has been cre­at­ing ob­struc­tion one way or the other in the sale of their prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing by way of col­lu­sive ap­pli­ca­tions and lock­outs to scare away auc­tion bid­ders,” the plea said.

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