Sahara's Aamby Valley Set To Go On Auction In October, Says Supreme Court

Spread over 8,900 acres, Aamby Valley is Sahara's flagship project comprising luxury resorts and an airport and valued at around Rs 38,000 crore.

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Sahara's Aamby Valley Set To Go On Auction In October, Says Supreme Court

Subrata Roy was arrested in March 2014 for the failure of two Sahara group companies

Highlights

  1. The auction is to take place on 10 and 11 October, Supreme Court said
  2. Sahara still has to pay Rs 8,651 crore to its investors, the ruling said
  3. Subrata Roy was arrested in 2014, but is out on parole since May 6, 2016
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea by Sahara Group to stop the auction of its Aamby Valley project and permit it to enter into agreement with Mauritius-based investor Royal Partners Investment Fund to invest $1.67 billion (over Rs 10,700 crore) in the Aamby Valley project.

The Supreme Court also rejected Sahara chief Subrata Roy's plea for two months' time to pay the balance of Rs 8,651 crores, and said that allowing Mr Roy to give post-dated cheques would be "tantamount to travesty of justice and extending sympathy to a person who is an abuser of the process of law."

In August, the top court had asked the Bombay High Court's official liquidator to auction the Aamby Valley property of the Sahara Group. In his report on its worth, the liquidator had said that its market value is Rs 37,390 crore and the fair value is Rs 43,000 crore. During the hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr 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.

In Monday's order the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A.K.Sikri ordered the physical auction to take place on 10 and 11 October at Mumbai. The court rejected Sahara's plea to stay the auction, though Mr Sibal told the apex court that since last hearing, the group had deposited about Rs 530 crore and sought time till November 11 to pay the balance of Rs 966 crore.

Spread over 8,900 acres, Aamby Valley is Sahara's flagship project comprising luxury resorts and an airport. During the July 25 hearing, Sahara's chief lawyer had opposed auctioning process and sought time of 18 months to pay the balance of around Rs 9,000 crore towards principal.

Mr 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.

Mr Roy was arrested in March 2014 for the failure of two Sahara group companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd and (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) - to comply with the court's 2012 order to return Rs. 24,000 crore to their investors.

Besides Mr 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.
 

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