Sa­hara Moves SC to Halt Aamby Val­ley Auc­tion

Top court has asked the group to pay up .₹ 20kcr to in­vestors in 2 il­le­gal schemes

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Sa­man­waya.Rau­tray @times­group.com

New Delhi: The Sa­ha­ras moved the Supreme Court on Wed­nes­day urg­ing it to halt the auc­tion of its star project Aamby Val­ley City near Pune over non-pay­ment of dues to mar­ket reg­u­la­tor Sebi. The court will hear the plea soon.

The top court had asked the group to pay up about .₹ 20,000 crore to re­pay in­vestors in two schemes de­clared il­le­gal by the Se­cu­ri­ties & Ex­change Board of In­dia (Sebi).

The mar­ket reg­u­la­tor claims that this amount, in­clu­sive of the prin­ci­pal and in­ter­est, had risen to .₹ 37,000 crore. Sa­hara has, so far, paid up a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the prin­ci­pal, though it is yet to pay the whole amount. The com­pany has to pay an­other .₹ 9,000 crore as part of the prin­ci­pal.

A bench led by CJI-des­ig­nate Di­pak Misra has kept the pres­sure on the com­pany, in­sist­ing that th­ese re­pay­ments be made be­fore the bench hears its ob­jec­tions to pay­ing the in­ter­est amount.

At the last hear­ing on July 25, the Sa­ha­ras had sought more time to pay up the amount. As per a pro­posal sub­mit­ted in court, the group wanted 18 months to re­pay the rest of the amount. But the bench has been averse to grant­ing it more time to re­pay the bal­ance amount, in­stead in­sist­ing that the com­pany pay .₹ 1,500 crore in­stal­ments ev­ery three months or so, or run the risk of hav­ing chair­man Subrata Roy sent back to jail.

Roy was re­leased on pa­role in May last year, two years af­ter he was sent to Ti­har jail for not com­ply­ing with the court’s orders. His pa­role has since been ex­tended for a few months ev­ery now and then.

The court has also si­mul­ta­ne­ously asked the Bom­bay High Court re­ceiver to set in mo­tion the process of auc­tion­ing Aamby Val­ley to keep up the pres­sure on the com­pany. The Sa­ha­ras had val­ued Aamby Val­ley at over .₹ 39,000 crore.

The bench has al­ready ap­proved the terms and con­di­tions of sale, in­clud­ing the re­serve price for each of the Aamby Val­ley prop­er­ties and asked him to pro­ceed with the process, in­clud­ing pub­li­ca­tion of ad­ver­tise­ments invit­ing global ten­ders for the sale.

In a fresh ap­pli­ca­tion men­tioned be­fore a bench headed by Jus­tice Misra on Thurs­day, the Sa­ha­ras urged the court to halt the auc­tion process so that com­pany could ap­prise it of fur­ther de­vel­op­ments on re­fund of the money.

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