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SC Orders Bombay HC To Sell Rs 34,000 Crore Worth Of Sahara-Owned Aamby Valley Property

Subrata Roy has been asked to appear personally on 28 April. 

17/04/2017 7:10 PM IST | Updated 17/04/2017 7:18 PM IST
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NEW DELHI -- The Supreme Court today asked Bombay High Court's official liquidator to sell the Rs 34,000 crore worth of properties of the Aamby Valley owned by the Sahara Group and directed its chief Subrata Roy to personally appear before it on 28 April.

"Enough is enough. You cannot say something today and resile tomorrow," a bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, said, taking strong note of non- submission of over Rs 5,000 crore by the Sahara group.

The bench also cautioned Roy from playing with the court's order and said non-compliance of its order would invite the wrath of the law and ultimately he will be at his own peril.

The bench asked the official liquidator, attached with the Bombay High Court, to auction the Aamby Valley properties, estimated to be worth Rs 34,000 crore, and directly report to it.

The bench also directed Roy and his group as well as SEBI to provide all necessary details relating to the properties to the official liquidator within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the top court restrained one Prakash Swamy, who has filed an affidavit with regard to the sale of Sahara hotels in the USA, from leaving India and asked him to deposit Rs 10 crore as fine with the market regulator SEBI.

Swamy will also have to appear in person in the apex court on 28 April.

The Supreme Court had on 6 April warned the Sahara Group that if it failed to deposit Rs 5092.6 crore in SEBI-Sahara refund account by 17 April in pursuance of its order, it will be "compelled" to auction its property at the Aamby Valley in Pune.

The top court had told the group that no extension of time would be granted for depositing the amount.

The observation had come when the lawyer mentioned an interim plea seeking extension of time for depositing the money in the SEBI-Sahara refund account.

The court had also observed that it had clearly told the group that a "substantial amount" must come in the refund account.

"Whatever you do, we had told you that a substantial amount must come. Otherwise we will be compelled to put up Aamby Valley for auction," the bench had said, noting "What matters is the money coming in the kitty."

The apex court had on 28 February said "in case, the substantial amount is deposited, this court may think of extending the time, otherwise appropriate direction shall be issued".

The court had last month ordered an international real estate firm, which had shown willingness to buy Sahara's stake in New York-based Plaza Hotel for USD 550 million, to deposit Rs 750 crore in the SEBI-Sahara refund account, instead of the apex court registry to show its bonafide.

The top court had earlier directed attachment of Sahara Group's prime property for realisation of money to be paid to its investors.

It had also asked the group to provide it within two weeks the list of "unencumbered properties" which can be put up for public auction to realise the remaining over Rs 14,000 crore of the principal amount of around Rs 24,000 crore that has to be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara account for refunding the investors.

The court had on November 28 last year asked Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 600 crore more by 6 February in the refund account to remain out of jail and warned that failure to do so would result in his return to prison.

It had on 6 May, 2016 granted a four-week parole to Roy to attend the funeral of his mother. His parole has been extended by the court ever since. Roy was sent to Tihar jail on 4 March, 2014.

Besides Roy, two other directors -- Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary -- were arrested for failure of the group's two companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) -- to comply with the court's 31 August, 2012 order to return Rs 24,000 crore to their investors.

However, director Vandana Bhargava was not taken into custody.

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