Aamby Valley to be auctioned if Sahara fails to deposit Rs 5,000 crore: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it would direct auction of Sahara group’s prime Aamby Valley property in Pune, if the company failed to deposit Rs 5,000 crore of the Rs 14,000 crore outstanding by April 17.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and AK Sikri said that it would be left with no option but to sell the property if the group failed to deposit the amount. The bench had already in February directed attachment of Aamby Valley property, worth nearly Rs 40,000 crore.

The SC had in August 2012 ordered Sahara to repay over Rs 25,000 crore to investors by depositing the amount with market regulator Sebi after it found that two group companies – Sahara Real Estate and Sahara Housing – had illegally collected the sum from three crore investors. Sahara has so far deposited over Rs 11,000 crore, of which Rs 6,000 crore was paid after the apex court sent Roy and two directors to jail on March 4, 2014.

On the last date of hearing, the court had rejected the Sahara’s plea to allow it to grant time till July 2019 to refund the amount and directed it to pay instalment of Rs 5,000 by April 17.

In the meantime, the bench asked US based real estate company MG Capital LLC, which promised to buy Sahara’s Plaza Hotel in New York, to deposit Rs 750 crore in Sebi-Sahara bank account to show its bona fide in the deal.

The company told the bench it was ready to pay $550 million to buy Sahara’s share in Plaza Hotel and the amount of Rs 750 crore would also be deposited by April 10. The bench, thereafter, asked SEBI to give bank account details to the company for transferring amount from US to India.

The Sahara group had earlier assured the court that it would try to sell 13 prime properties across India, including townships and land, to raise over Rs 5,000 crore.

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