The Supreme Court today denied relief to Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy over a plea to put on hold the auction of the group's prized Aamby Valley property in Pune, Maharashtra. Roy had moved the apex court through senior advocate Kapil Sibal, asking it to put on hold the auction of the property.
During the hearing, Sibal, appearing for Roy, said that the auction process should be put on hold till September so that his client could arrange Rs 1,500 crore to be deposited into Sebi-Sahara account.
The bench, however, said that it will pass orders at an appropriate time. A bench of justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri said, "The prayer of the contemnor (Roy) is hereby rejected."
At the hearing on Wednesday, Sibal sought to push back the publication of the sale notice and also for more time to review Sahara's payment plan.
On July 25, the apex court had asked Sahara chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1,500 crore - a part payment of Rs 24,000 crore that two group companies had raised from the investors.
Directing the sum be deposited by September 7, the court had permitted Roy to place before them a reasonable plan for the payment of balance amount over a period of 18 months - as he had himself sought.
As it cleared all the terms and conditions submitted by Bombay High Court's official liquidator for floating a global tender to invite bids for the auction of Aamby Valley, the court had said that if Sahara pays Rs 1,500 crore by September 7 and submits a plan, it would stall the process of auctioning Aamby Valley.
However, it was subject to payment of this sum, the court had said. The amount also include balances of Rs 305 crore that Roy has yet to pay from his last instalment that he was to submit by June 15.
On April 16, the court had asked the Bombay High Court's official liquidator to evaluate and auction the Aamby Valley property of the Sahara Group. The liquidator had said that the Aamby Valley market value is Rs 37,390 crore and the fair value is Rs 43,000 crore.
The Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited had raised Rs 24,000 crore through optionally fully convertible debentures in 2007 and 2008. The top court by its August 31, 2012, order had directed Sahara to refund this amount with 15 per cent interest.
The court has been recovering money from the group in instalments. Sahara has paid Rs 16,000 crore till now.
On July 25, the court had simultaneously approved the draft sale notice and terms to dispose of the property prepared by the official liquidator of the Bombay High Court.
"The official liquidator shall publish the sale notice as given by him and the notice shall be published on August 14.
The steps which are required to be taken for the publication of the sale notice, are allowed," the court had said.
The Sahara Group had earlier sought 18 months' time to repay around Rs 9,000 crore balance amount of the principal amount of Rs 24,000 crore.
Sibal, however, had said that according to the group, the remaining amount was around Rs 8,000 crore and it had made all efforts to deposit the money.
Roy, who has spent almost two years in jail, has been on parole since May 6 last year. The parole was granted the first time to enable him attend the funeral of his mother. It has been extended since then.
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 August 31, 2012 order to return Rs 24,000 crore to their investors.
Another company director Vandana Bhargava was not taken into custody.
The Supreme Court today denied relief to Sahara Group over a plea to stay the auction of its prized Aamby Valley. The group had moved the apex court through senior advocate Kapil Sibal, asking it to put on hold the auction of the property.