‘Attach Sahara’s Aamby Valley Project’
SC move aimed at forcing the group to pay .₹ 14,799 crore more to the market regulator; court extends Subrata Roy’s parole
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered to seize Sahara’s star Aamby Valley project in Pune to force the group to pay .₹ 14,799 crore more to the market regulator.
This is the balance of the principal amount the court had ordered the group to pay. The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s role is to distribute the money to investors in two Sahara schemes that the regulator had found illegal.
Meanwhile, the court extended the parole of Sahara chief Subrata Roy, even as the group paid another .₹ 638 crore to the regulator on Monday.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and AK Sikri, expressed their impatience with the group’s failure to qu- ickly pay up the arrears. “You can’t keep coming back every two months with .₹ 600 crore. Your proposed payments end in July 2019,” the bench said. It ordered attachment of the prime project despite strong opposition from Sahara lawyer Kapil Sibal. The group had so far resisted any attempt to sell either Aamby Valley or its hotels abroad.
Monday’s order effectively restrains the group from claiming ownership rights over the property or disposing of or alienating it in any manner.
While the court could initiate steps to sell the property and recover the money, the group, too, could come up It ordered attachment of the prime project despite strong opposition from Sahara lawyer Kapil Sibal
with a list of other unencumbered properties that it could offer to sell.
The court told the group to submit a list of such unencumbered properties in two weeks. “You have left us with no option. Please give us a list (of properties) which will give .₹ 14,000 crore. We will hear you and let you keep Aamby Valley,” Justice Gogoi said. The group had so far resisted any attempt to sell either Aamby Valley or its hotels abroad
Court told the group to submit a list of unencumbered properties that it could offer to sell in two weeks
Sahara could also pay off the amount upfront but that seems an impossibility at this juncture, given that the group has struggled to make its payments over the years and has paid only half of the principal amount so far. The interest component is yet to be recovered. Sibal hinted as much when he complained of lack of liquidity in the real estate sector and prayed for some breathing time for the group to come up with more money. Sibal said Sahara was willing to pay up the principal, but urged the court to hear his review petition against the August 31, 2012, order asking to pay up about .₹ 24,000 crore as principal due.
The case will come up for hearing again on February 27