Sahara Moves SC to Halt Aamby Valley Auction
Top court has asked the group to pay up .₹ 20kcr to investors in 2 illegal schemes
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.